The Iranian foreign minister was scheduled to leave for Kuwait on his first visit to the Western-allied Gulf state since Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

The official IRNA news agency reported Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet Kuwaiti leaders and attend a joint economic committee during his one-day Sunday visit.

Iran’s new government has promised to build closer ties with nearby Arab countries. The Islamic Republic has a tense relationship with Gulf Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia.

IRNA says Zarif will head to Oman, also in the Arabian Peninsula, after leaving Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister visited Tehran last week.

Also on Sunday, President Rouhani said Iran intends to increase production from a giant gas field shared with neighboring Qatar.

The report by state TV quoted Rouhani as saying Iran that intends to match Qatar’s production by 2017. He said Iran will use the additional production from the South Pars field — known as North Dome in Qatar — to “develop” Iran.

Iran’s media said Qatar’s current gas production from the field is about 1½ times that of Iran’s.