Gulf States Meet in Riyadh on Iran-UAE Island Row

Petra News Agency17.04.2012 Iran
Gulf States Meet in Riyadh on Iran-UAE Island Row

Gulf States Meet in Riyadh on Iran-UAE Island Row

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Foreign Ministers of the six Gulf States are to hold a special meeting in Riyadh today, after Iran’s President visited an island in the Gulf claimed by the United Arab Emirates, a UAE official said.

The meeting in the Saudi capital comes at the request of the UAE which recalled its envoy to Tehran on Thursday after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went to the disputed island of Abu Musa, the official said.

Abu Dhabi pulled out its envoy Saif Mohammed Abid al-Zaabi “for consultations” a day after denouncing Ahmadinejad’s trip as a “flagrant violation of UAE sovereignty over its territories.”

Iran called the visit a purely “domestic issue,” media reported.

Both Iran and the Emirates claim territorial sovereignty over Abu Musa and two other islands in the southern Gulf.

Under the rule of the Western-backed Shah, Iran then 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 UAE.

Abu Dhabi says the Iranians have since taken control of the entire island which controls access to the oil-rich Gulf and has installed an airport and military base there.

GCC Chief Abdullatif al-Zayani also condemned Ahmadinejad's visit as “a clear violation of UAE sovereignty” and “not in line with the GCC policy of maintaining good neighborly relations with Iran.”

Meanwhile, Jordan has affirmed full solidarity with UAE’s territorial integrity and sovereignty saying Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Mousa has undermined the diplomatic efforts towards finding a peaceful settlement to end the Iranian occupation over three UAE islands.

In a statement carried by Petra, the official news agency, a Foreign Ministry Spokesman said: “Jordanian government expresses full solidarity with UAE over its entire lands and called for solving all disputes through dialogue and avoiding unilateral actions. Jordan underscores supports for UAE’s demand to restore its legitimate rights and full sovereignty over its islands Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs occupied by Iran since 1971.”

The Arab Parliament has also urged Iran to respect the UAE’s rights and sovereignty over its islands and abstain from pursuing the “policy of creating problems” with the Arabian Gulf countries.

In a statement issued in Cairo, Ali Salem Al Dakbasi, the Speaker of the Arab Parliament, described Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Mousa as “provocative”. He added the Ahmadinejad’s visit provoked anger from Arabs towards Iran.


Source: AFP; Petra



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