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23-04-2012 - Khaleej Times

France, Italy Foreign Ministry issue statement on Abu Musa

Both French and Italian Foreign Affairs' spokesperson have issued a statement regarding the UAE's Abu Musa Island occupied by Iran.

France has said that it attaches great importance to stability and security in the region, and that in light of this importance, "we regret any initiative likely to create tension as has been the case for example during the recent visit of the Iranian president to the island of Abu Musa. Unilateral actions that aggravate the situation should be avoided," a French Foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Regarding the dispute between Iran and the UAE for the island of Abu Musa, there are also two other islands that are also disputed, you've already answered a question this week regarding this affair. Is there a change in the situation and do you believe that everything must be done to avoid another source of tension in the region?

French Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bernard Valero answered: "Sure. We have already expressed our opinion regarding this subject but there were still reports of Iranian authorities this morning. We have already expressed a few days ago just to say how France attaches great importance to stability and security in the region, and that in light of this importance, we regret any initiative likely to create tension as has been the case for example during the recent visit of the Iranian president to the island of Abu Musa. Unilateral actions that aggravate the situation should be avoided.

"Now what do we observe in this case? We note that there are two attitudes. The first attitude is that of Iran who made statements or provocations, such as the visit of Ahmadinejad on the island of Abu Musa. And there's the other attitude is that the UAE is offering a peaceful approach to resolve the issue of the islands as part of international law, through direct negotiations or recourse to the ICJ", the spokesperson added.

When asked that Iran has repeatedly said he intended to use missiles and heavy weapons on the islands that are occupied since 1971. Do you have information that they have placed missiles that could be used to the detriment of free navigation in the Gulf? The spokesperson said, "No, I do not have precise information on this aspect but I remind that it is not through missiles that we can solve this type of problem. This should be settled through a peaceful approach within the framework of international law, through direct negotiations or recourse to international tribunals like the ICJ, but not with missiles."

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi, has said that they have learnt with concern about the tensions triggered by Iranian President Mr. Ahmadinejad's visit to the island of Abu Musa last April the 11th.

However Minister Terzi has expressed appreciation for the moderate standing of the UAE Authorities with regards to their reaction.

"Italy wishes a pacific solution of the pending disputes between Abu Dhabi and Teheran through dialogue and negotiation", the minister concluded.

 

Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights