UAE FM Blasts Ahmadinejad’s Visit to Abu Musa Island

13.04.2012 UAE
UAE FM Blasts Ahmadinejad’s Visit to Abu Musa Island

UAE FM Blasts Ahmadinejad’s Visit to Abu Musa Island

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UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan Sheikh Abdullah blasted the visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a disputed island as a “flagrant violation” of UAE’s sovereignty over its territories

and a setback to all efforts and attempts the UAE is making to find a peaceful settlement to Iran’s occupation of the 3 UAE islands,” WAM reported late on Wednesday.

“This visit will not change the legal status of these islands which are part of the UAE national soil,” the statement said.

Sheikh Abdullah, who visited Iran in February, said Ahmadinejad’s move and “provocative rhetoric expose Iran’s false allegations regarding its keenness to establish good relations with the UAE and countries of the region.”

Sheikh Abdullah said Ahmadinejad’s actions come at a time “when the two countries agreed to exert more joint efforts” to resolve their dispute. “The visit was a gross breach of this agreement.”

He urged Iran “to take measures and stances that strengthen confidence between countries and people of the region and refrain from such provocative” acts.

During his visit to Abu Musa Island on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad insisted historical documents proved “the Persian Gulf is Persian,” according to the official IRNA news agency.

The Iranian leader said the name “Persian Gulf” derived from the “culture, civilization and the dominant opinion” of the area.

“Since a few thousand years ago, the main culture in most of the world was the Iranian culture and civilization, and it is clear that the naming of the waterway would be based on the name of this culture and land. “I am not worried about some claims to the Persian Gulf at all, because only one who is weak would be worried” about such claims, Ahmadinejad said.

Underlining the importance of security in the Persian Gulf, Ahmadinejad said ' When we say the Persian Gulf should be safe we mean it should be safe for all.'

Criticizing certain powers which have military bases in the Persian Gulf region, he said regional countries had to pay for establishment of such bases.

Ahmadinejad’s visit to the strategic Persian Gulf Island is considered to be the first trip by a Head of State since Tehran retook possession of the island 41 years ago.

Under the rule of the Western-backed Shah, Iran gained control of the islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb in 1971, as Britain granted independence to its Gulf protectorates and withdrew its forces.

Abu Musa, the only inhabited island of the three, was placed under joint administration in a deal with Sharjah, now part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

But the UAE government says the Iranians have since taken control of all access to the strategic island and installed an airport and military base there.

The UAE has urged Tehran to agree to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Iran says its sovereignty over the islands is not negotiable but has called for talks with the UAE to clear up “misunderstandings.”

Source: WAM; IRNA; Al Arabiya



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