TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Qatari foreign minister called on all the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council member states to engage in talks with Iran, which is an “important part of the region”.

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"Turkey, Iran and Iraq are important parts of the region and Qatar needs to build strong relationships and partnerships with other countries in the region. Qatar needs to have positive and constructive relations with those countries and this is not because of the blockade but it is a part of Qatar's strategy to maintain its friendly relations with all countries in the region," Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani told Bloomberg in an interview published on Thursday.  

He said Qatar may have differences and disagreements with those countries, "but Iran is a neighboring country at the end of the day, and Qatar shares gas fields with it".

Iran opened its skies when the blockading countries closed their airspace in front of the Qatari people, the senior diplomat said.

"Iran is a part of our geography, and we hope also that the (P)GCC countries start to engage with Iran in a positive and constructive dialogue to resolve this outstanding issue of our regional security which is impacting our security directly and indirectly,” he concluded.

In August 2017, Doha sent back its ambassador to Tehran, more than 20 months after he was recalled, and moved to strengthen relations with Tehran amid a diplomatic rift between Qatar and four other Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

The Arab countries allied with Saudi Arabia blame Doha for interfering in the domestic affairs of other states and sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Qatar has rejected.

The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Persian Gulf War, has seen the Arab nations cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major US military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.