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Qatari Emir Urges Dialogue Between Iran, Arab Nations

Qatar's emir has urged Gulf Arab countries and Iran to settle their disputes through "dialogue," in a telephone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani, state media reported on September 13.

The Qatar News Agency said Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani telephoned Rohani on the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on September 12 and "stressed that Gulf-Iran relations should be based on good neighborly relations and mutual respect."

"Any Gulf-Iran disputes should be settled through negotiations and dialogue," the emir said.

Shi'ite-led Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia have been engaged on opposing sides in proxy wars in Yemen and Syria for years.

The call also came amid a heated war of words between Iran and the Saudis over the hajj pilgrimage.

Iranians were this year blocked from joining the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia for the first time in almost 30 years.

In response, Tehran called on the Muslim world to "punish" the Saudi government for mishandling the pilgrimage during last year's stampede disaster.

Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric, Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, retorted that Iranians were "not Muslims."

Based on reporting by AP and AFP