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Iran’s Zarif to visit Qatar amid Gulf crisis

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Qatar on Monday, officials said, for talks on relations between Tehran and Doha that have caused tensions in the Gulf. Zarif held talks with officials in Oman Monday before heading to Doha on his first visit to Qatar since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June. The four countries accuse Qatar of backing extremism and fostering ties with their Shiite rival Iran, charges that Doha denies. Oman, a tiny sultanate across the water from Iran, has traditionally had closer ties with Tehran than its neighbors and has maintained relations with Qatar throughout the crisis. Zarif’s talks in Muscat covered “energy, the economy and transit” and the potential “transfer of Iranian gas through the Sultanate of Oman to India”, according to the official Oman News Agency. Oman and Iran in 2014 agreed to build an underwater pipeline to pump Iranian gas to the Omani port city of Sohar.

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