0547 GMT March 17, 2018
Qatar says officials from Qatar, Iran and Turkey are investing to further develop a trade route between the three countries.
Vice Chairman of Qatar Chamber Muhammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al-Kuwari said after a blockade imposed by some Arab states, Qatar is constantly developing and establishing alternative trade links, both for imports and exports.
With the opening of Hamad Port and the start of new trade network from Turkey, Iran and Qatar things have changed significantly, he said.
“In addition, we are also developing and expanding the Ruwais Port. We have two links from Ruwais Port connecting Iran’s two important provinces – Bushehr Port and Bandar Abbas, a port city and capital of Hormuzgan Province. If you go to Ruwais Port, you can see ships with merchandise from Turkey, Iran and other neighboring countries,” the Qatari official told The Peninsula.
Head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad said that Qatari officials are scheduled to visit southern Iranian ports, Mehr News Agency reported.
On a visit to southern port city of Bandar Abbas, Rastad told reporters that Iran has been increasing its tourism and business cooperation with neighboring countries of Qatar and Oman, adding that “We have good relations with Qatar, and recently we paid a visit to Qatar and met with the Qatari minister of transport and communications, and the managing director of the Qatar’s ports organization.”
He added that a memorandum of understanding on maritime and port cooperation was proposed to Qatari side.
He said the country’s deputy transport minister and managing director of the Qatari Ports Organization to visit Iranian southern ports of Imam Khomeini, Bushehr and Bandar Abbas.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017 and imposed a land, sea and air embargo, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". Doha has repeatedly denied the allegation.
"It has been a futile crisis, manufactured by our neighbors," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani recently told a security conference in Germany, Al-Jazeera reported.
"By defusing the impact of the illegal and aggressive measures imposed on our people, Qatar has preserved its sovereignty," he said.
"Those aggressive actors wish to use smaller states as pawns within their power games and sectarian conflicts."
Despite the measures against it, Qatar has developed new international trade routes and accelerated economic diversity, Sheikh Tamim added.
On June 22, 2017, the quartet issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Qatar-based media network Al-Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.
Qatar rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to infringe its sovereignty.