March 5, 2021

The Emir of Qatar offers Trump to mediate in his dispute with Iran



The emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Zani, spoke Tuesday with US President Donald Trump about the possibility of mediating the dispute between the US. and Iran, and signed several trade agreements that showed its approach to Washington despite the Arab blockade against Doha.

Two years after taking a stand in favor of Saudi Arabia in the dispute between the kingdoms of the Persian Gulf, Trump received the Emir of Qatar in the White House as if nothing had happened, with the relationships already repaired and numerous lucrative contracts on the table.

"We have been friends for a long time, and we are working together a lot, they are investing a lot in our country," Trump said at the beginning of his meeting with the emir in the Oval Office.

Although the public part of the meeting focused on the commercial relationship, both had planned to also talk about Iran, according to the White House, given that the small emirate of Qatar has a close relationship with both Washington and Tehran.

"Iran is doing a lot of very bad things right now and you better be very careful," said Trump.

The emir of Qatar had planned to offer to mediate between both countries and help reduce tensions, which have continued to increase in the last three months, according to the spokesman of the Qatari Embassy in the United States, Yasim bin Mansur al-Zani.

"We have offered to act as an independent and impartial mediator if Iran and the United States decide to talk," Al Zani told The Daily Beast.

The White House received the offer with caution, considering it unlikely that in the short term a formal negotiation could be opened with Iran, whose leaders have so far refused to dialogue despite Trump's attempts.

"I do not think it could be a formal mediation role, but it could be that we resort to them to send messages and express the seriousness of this Government's attempt to reduce tensions, and build a kind of path towards dialogue," said one official. American official to The Washington Post.

Despite the escalation with Iran, fueled by the increase in the US military presence in the Middle East and attacks on tankers and a US drone. in the Persian Gulf, Trump has been reluctant to start a conflict with Tehran.

Instead, the president has insisted on his willingness to start a dialogue with Iran in the style he started last year with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and has asked for help for it to Switzerland and Japan, but the Iranian supreme leader , Ali Khamenei, has rejected the attempts of mediation of those countries.

Iran has a close relationship with Qatar, with which it shares the largest gas field in the world, and these ties have been reinforced by the air, land and economic embargo that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have had against Doha for two years, Emirates United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The White House wanted to take advantage of the visit of the emir to urge him to approach positions with the countries of the Persian Gulf, considering that the divisions in the region harm the interests of Washington at a time of conflict with Iran.

But nobody mentioned the blockade to Qatar during the appointment in the White House. Far away was the strong support for Saudi Arabia that Trump expressed two years ago and that hindered the diplomatic efforts of his government, eager to maintain ties with the Qatari because they host the largest US military base in the region.

"Mr. President, you are invited to visit Qatar and also the base when you want," the Qatari emir told Trump, who responded that the military installation is "incredible" and is "in a very important place."

Trump and Al Zani had already shared a dinner on Monday with dozens of businessmen from both countries and this Tuesday they attended the signing of several trade and defense agreements.

Specifically, the airline Qatar Airways bought five Boeing 777 cargo aircraft and committed to acquire aircraft from the US company Gulfstream, in addition to using engines and services of General Electric.

In addition, the Qatari Ministry of Defense undertook to acquire NASAM and Patriot missile systems from the US company Raytheon and the emirate state oil company signed an agreement with Chevron to develop a petrochemical complex in the Arab country.

Lucia Leal

. (tagsToTranslate) Qatar (t) offers (t) Trump (t) dispute (t) Iran



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