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16-04-2012 - Khaleej Times

UAE FM condemns Iranian move in talks with UN envoys

The UAE Foreign Minister, Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday met with the ambassadors of the Security Council member countries.

During the meeting, Shaikh Abdullah expressed UAE's denunciation of the visit made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the UAE's Island of Abu Musa, occupied by Iran since 1971.

Shaikh Abdullah said Ahmadinejad's visit represented a violation of the UAE's sovereignty over its three Islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, adding that the visit could never change the historic and legal facts which prove that the three Islands belong to the UAE.

He also expressed UAE's disappointment with the Iranian move which undermined the agreement between the two countries to resolve the dispute through bilateral negotiations.

"The UAE, being part of that agreement, sought to provide the right environment for diplomatic efforts to make headway and temporarily refrained from raising the issue in international and regional arenas in anticipation for the upcoming round of talks. This violation however, shows that Iran is not serious in pushing these efforts forward," he said.

Shaikh Abdullah also said that the visit had deepened mistrust between Iran and its neighbours in the region.

"The UAE is committed to demanding its sovereign rights through peaceful option and within the framework of international law. This approach represents a firm commitment and a reflection of the UAE's civilised message."

"Through this approach," he went on, "the UAE will intensify diplomatic efforts in relation to its legitimate demands and its policy of calling for bilateral negotiations or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice, while keen to enhance security and stability of the Arabian Gulf."

Shaikh Abdullah urged the member countries of the Security Council to support UAE's stand, based on their ties of friendship and cooperation with the UAE. He said the UAE will keep their governments informed with the future steps to be taken.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash summoned Iranian Ambassador Dr Mohammed Ali Fayaz and handed over to him a letter of protest in condemnation of the visit made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the UAE's occupied Island of Abu Musa.

Gargash described Ahmadinejad's visit as a serious precedent, a violation of the UAE's sovereignty and a breach of the agreement between the two countries to create a mechanism for resolving the dispute through bilateral negotiations.

"The visit of the Iranian President will not change the historic and legal facts. It will have no effect whatsoever on the UAE'ssovereignty over the Islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa," he added.

The letter of protest said the visit had undermined the diplomatic efforts that led to an agreement for peaceful solution through bilateral negotiations. It further said that the UAE has committed to the agreement in order to create the right environment for a joint solution that could lead to enhancing security and stability in the Arabian Gulf.

That approach emanates from the UAE's firm belief that peaceful solutions must prevail.

Gargash reiterated UAE's sovereignty over the three Islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa and called on Iran to end its occupation of the islands and to heed UAE's legitimate demand for a peaceful and just solution through bilateral negotiation or by referral to the International Court of Justice.

 

Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights