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UAE INTERACT

http://www.uaeinteract.com/italian/news/default.asp?ID=147

 Tunisia, Bahrain back UAE approach to resolve its occupied islands issue
posted on 01/12/2008
Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelwahab Abdallah has reiterated his country's support for the UAE's peaceful efforts and approaches to resolve the issue of its three islands occupied by Iran, either through bilateral talks or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.
The Tunisian Minister made his remarks yesterday when he was received by Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, Speaker of the Federal National Council.
Abdelwahab Abdallah extended his greetings to the leadership, government and people of the UAE on the occasion of 37th anniversary of the national day. He also praised his country's progressive ties with the UAE.
Al Ghurair said the FNC was looking forward to enhancing relations of cooperation with the Tunisian parliament.
He also commended Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's decision to exempt UAE citizens travelling to Tunisia from visa requirement. He also expressed appreciation to the decision to form UAE-Tunisian joint committee, co-chaired by UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelwahab Abdallah.
In the same context, Bahrain also expressed yesterday its support for the UAE right to its three islands, occupied by Iran, and commended persistent efforts being made by the UAE wise leadership for direct dialogue and negotiation with Iran or referring the issue to the international arbitration.
'The Islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa are part and parcel of the Arab World and history stands witness to that ......Bahrain firmly believes that the UAE will one day take back these islands, said Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani, Speaker of Bahrain's House of Representatives (HR), said during talks yesterday with Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC) Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair.
Al Ghurair highly appreciated Manama's stance and highlighted the bilateral ties.
'The UAE will continue to call Iran for dialogue to settle the issue through peaceful means,' he said, adding that relationship with Iran will remain as it is given Iran status as a Muslim country and a neighbour. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Brazil supports UAE on 3 Islands issue with Iran, calls for Israeli withdrawal to Green Line
posted on 28/10/2008

Brazil and members of UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) support the position of the UAE on the issue of the three Islands - Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb - occupied by Iran since the year 1971, a senior official at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry told Spanish News Agency (EFE) in an exclusive interview.
"Brazil favors a peaceful solution to the issue through diplomacy and negotiations between the two countries or for that matter by referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice,' added Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry Arnaldo Carvallho who was on a short visit to Abu Dhabi.
"We are, at the same time, interested in seeing very good relations between the two countries and urge them to reach a just and peaceful solution to the issue of the three Islands through diplomacy and negotiations." Upon British forces withdrawal from the Gulf, Iran and UAE signed a MoU, which the UAE says does not give Iran the right to sovereignty over the Islands which are close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Speaking on the Middle East peace process, the knowledgeable expert on Middle East -who started his diplomatic career in 1965 in Algeria and later in Israel- urged Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) back to the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line between Israel which demarcated the borders between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip as recognized by the international community in 1948).
Calling for the exact implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which call for Israel's withdrawal from territories as part of a peace agreement, the Brazilian senior official said Brazil recognizes the right of Palestinians to establish their own independent state on their lands.
Carvallho arrived earlier in Abu Dhabi coming from Doha shortly after representing Brazil in the 3-day 5th Meeting of High Officials of Arab and South American Countries (ASPA) which started last Monday, October 20th.
Some 34 delegates of 12 South American countries, UNASUR (Union de Naciones Suramericanas), 22 Arab countries and the Arab League engaged in discussions of the upcoming ASPA Summit of heads of States due to be held in Doha on April 1st next year.
Present at the meeting were Brazilian Ambassador to UAE Raol Castro and president of the Trade Exterior Chamber of Brazil- Arabian Gulf and North Africa (Golfobras) Ahmed Yassine.
The ASPA series of meetings, said Carvallho, inaugurated a new kind of dialogue and relations between Arabs and South Americans. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE stance on islands issue is very smart: Spanish Senate President
posted on 28/10/2008

Spanish Senate President, Francisco Javier Rojo Garcia, has said that UAE's efforts to regain control of its three islands, occupied by Iran, through direct negotiations or international arbitration was a wise decision and the best means of resolving international dispute.
Rojo Garcia made the statement to the press after a meeting with visiting Federal National Council Speaker, Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair. The meeting was attended by UAE Ambassador, Sultan Al-Qirtasi Al-Nuaimi, and members of the delegation accompanying the FNC Speaker.
The Spanish Senate President stressed that dialogue had become the best way to resolve disputes between nations because it gives those involved the legality of reconciliation by peaceful means and enables the arbiter to win the understanding and sympathy of others. He said the UAE stance on the issue of the three islands was very smart because disputes cannot be resolved successfully by force.
Asked whether the Spanish senate is ready to mediate in the issue, he said the issue of the islands concerns the UAE and Iran, adding that Spain has no authority to mediate between the two countries.
He also touched on his meeting with the FNC speaker, he said they had discussed ways to boost cooperation and friendship between the UAE and Spain in the areas of parliamentary diplomacy and coordination between the two houses on matters related to issues of mutual interest.
During the meeting, Al-Ghurair expressed the grave concern of Gulf States about Iran's nuclear programme, presented the issue of the three UAE islands being occupied by Iran and gave detailed explanation about the sovereign funds, which, he said, aim at investment and development and not politically based.
He stressed the UAE's commitment to the security and stability of the region and the strengthening of relations of cooperation.
Al Ghurair and his accompanying delegation visited Casa Arabe (Arab House) in Madrid, and were briefed on its activities and goals of strengthening Spanish-Arab ties.
Later, Francisco Javier Rojo Garcia hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the FNC delegation which was attended by Sultan Al Qirtasi Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to Spain and senior Spanish government officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Italian Foreign Minister calls for peaceful resolution of UAE islands' issue
posted on 25/10/2008

Rome - Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, has called for the resolution of the issue of the three UAE islands either through direct negotiations or international arbitration. He commended the UAE for its calm and for not escalating the matter for the sake of stability and security in the Gulf region.
This came during a meeting the Italian foreign minister held here yesterday with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, in the presence of the FNC delegation members, UAE Ambassador to Italy, Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah Kazim, Italian Ambassador to UAE, Paolo Dionisi and a number of Italian foreign ministry officials.
In a post meeting statement, Frattini said there was the need for international pressure on Iran to test the latter's intention on its nuclear programme, prevent Tehran from possessing nuclear arm and to reach solution to the issue of the occupied UAE islands.
He reiterated his country's support for peaceful resolution of the issue.
He said the meeting touched on bilateral ties between the UAE and Italy and some international issues, including the situations in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, how to work together to achieve peace in the region and the UAE's role in that regard.
He said Italy, in its capacity as the current president of the G8, will invite the FNC to attend the G8 meetings early next year to coordinate stances on Middle East issues and other hot issues on the international arena.
For his part, Al-Ghurair said his country is a good role model in terms of good relations and religious tolerance, which made the G8 to consider inviting the UAE to attend its meeting, adding that the opportunity can be seized to coordinate stance with European Union (EU) member states through the Italians.
He reiterated that the UAE's sovereign funds remain committed to the San Diego Agreement. He said the funds' objectives were purely investment-based and had nothing to do with politics, adding that Italian companies commended the funds for their transparency. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Italy backs UAE stance on islands
posted on 24/10/2008

Rome - Speaker of Italian House of Representatives Gianfranco Fini expressed yesterday his country's support for the UAE's stance and its towards the issue of Iran's occupation of its three islands - Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.
Fini said during a meeting with visiting Speaker of the UAE Federal National Council (FNC) Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair that the Italian chamber appreciates the real policy adopted by the UAE on the issue. He also stressed the need for settling the issue through peaceful means.
'The issue should be raised at international forums and kept alive on agenda of international gatherings so that a settlement could be reached in future,' he added.
'The issue is of high importance to Italy and the EU as it falls within the context of public relations with Iran, a major trade partner to Italy in the region," he indicated.
'Italy shares the UAE its concern over Iran's nuclear programme and the possibility of its use in military purposes," he said.
The Speaker of the Italian House of Representatives urged Iran to exercise transparency in this regard and not resort to use of military nuclear option.
The UAE official told Fini that the UAE continued to maintain flourishing trade and economic relations with Iran despite its occupation of its islands and its reluctance of negotiations and referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.
He briefed the Italian official on the President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's programme for empowering the FNC.
Answering a question from Fini about the Iranian Mujahedin Khalq Organisation which has been written off the list of terrorist groups by a European court, Al Ghurair said: 'The UAE doesn't encourage harbouring organisations and groups working against their countries as it considers this matter an interference into other countries' internal affairs.
'These groups should engage in the political process through democratic channels and not take up arms against their governments,' he added. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Arab Parliament calls on Iran to end occupation of UAE Islands
posted on 16/09/2008

The Arab Interim Parliament (AIP) has asked Iran to end its occupation of three UAE islands, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.
In a resolution adopted at the end of the second session on Monday, the AIP strongly criticised also the recent Iranian action of constructing two offices on the Abu Musa Island.
The Resolution described Iran's arbitrary move as the flagrant violation of the UN conventions and the international law.
The Resolution said that the illegal construction of the two structures is a direct violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the United Arab Emirates.
The AIP resolution also touched upon various other issues of Arab concern including the situations in Sudan and the Palestinian- Israeli peace negotiations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Council of Arab foreign ministers asks Iran to end occupation of UAE's three Islands
posted on 10/09/2008

The Council of Foreign ministers of the Arab League has condemned the continuation of the Iranian occupation of UAE's three islands; Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.
Concluding the 130th meeting, the Council also called upon Iran to end its occupation of the three Islands, and stop building any installations on the islands with the aim of changing its demography.
In a resolution approved in the session held at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, the Council strongly condemned Iran's flagrant violation of UAE's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Council reiterated UAE's unconditional right to the three islands, and supported all the initiatives of UAE to restore its sovereignty over the islands through peaceful means.
The Council strongly criticized the recent actions of Iran, who built two offices on the Abu Musa Island, and asked Iran to immediately remove those illegal structures.
The resolution also condemned the Iranian settlements on the UAE's three islands with an aim of arbitrarily changing their demographic structure. It also condemned Iran's military exercises covering the islands, the territorial waters, the airspace and the economic region belonging to the three islands.
Any action of this kind will be considered an interference in the internal affairs of an independent, sovereign state, and such actions will never promote mutual trust as they threaten peace and security in the region, and expose the safety of territorial and international navigation to danger, said the Council.
The Council called upon Iran to translate its desire to improve relations with Arab countries into sincere and solid action, and refrain from any action that undermines that commitment.
The Council also gave its support to the peace efforts of the Palestinian President and his ongoing peace negotiations with Israel.
It also asserted the support to the Arab efforts to end division in the Palestinian ranks and reinstate the unity of Palestinian people.
The Council will meet again in November in an extra ordinary session to assess the progress in the peace process and the Palestinian reconciliation.
The Council also reiterated its rejection of the US embargo imposed on Syria as it threatens the peace and security of the civil aviation in that country. It reiterated the right of any Arab country to develop its own air fleet without any political ban.
The Council welcomed the Doha agreement which was reached with the efforts of the Emir of Qatar culminating the initiatives of the Arab League.
The Council supported the efforts aimed at bringing national reconciliation in Iraq, expressed its deep concern over the charges levelled at the Sudanese President by the Attorney General at the International Criminal Court, welcomed the initiatives of the Sudanese government for bringing back peace and stability in Darfur and made its deliberations on a number of other issues of importance. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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GCC ministerial council condemns Iran's opening of administrative offices on Abu Musa
posted on 04/09/2008

The ministerial council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has condemned Iran's opening of two administrative offices on UAE's island of Abu Musa. The council urged Iran to withdraw those illegal structures and to respect the UAE's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
This was contained in a final statement of the council's 108th meeting which ended in Jeddah late Tuesday. The meeting was presided over by Qatar, which currently chairs the six-member GCC Supreme Council.
Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, headed UAE's delegation to the meeting, during which the council re-affirmed its support for UAE's sovereignty over its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, their territorial waters, air spaces, continental shelf and their economic zones, all of which the council regarded as integral part of the UAE.
The council expressed regret that all contacts with Iran failed to achieve any positive result that would lead to peaceful solution of the issue of the three islands to help boost security and stability in the region.
The council called for probing of all peaceful means which would help the UAE take back its rights over its three islands. It urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to listen to the UAE's sincere calls and efforts to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or international arbitration at the International Court of Justice. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE officially documents protest of Iran's offices on Abu Musa Island
posted on 30/08/2008

The United Arab Emirates has officially documented its memorandum of protest submitted to the United Nations over Iran's setting up two offices on UAE's occupied Abu Musa Island.
In a letter delivered to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by Charge d'Affaires of the United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations Anwar Othman Al-Barout, the Government of the United Arab Emirates noted that the Iranian state television announced that Tehran had set up two offices for ship registration and maritime rescue on the UAE island, which have been under Iranian occupation since 1971.
The letter which was lodged on Thursday among the official documents of the U.N Security Council in New York reiterates the UAE's protest over the illegal Iranian action which it considers as a stark violation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier in 1971 on legal, administrative and sovereignty on the Island. The letter voices the UAE's deep regret over such actions which it says do not help promote the UAE-Iranian bilateral relations.
Reiterating the UAE's position on the issue, the letter says the state of affairs on Abu Musa Island is ruled by the still-valid 1971 Memorandum of Understanding which provisions must regulate the issue of an Iranian forces' presence on the island.
"Iran's illegitimate actions on the Abu Musa Island violate the provisions of the Memorandum and are a bid by Iran to change the legal status on the Island," the letter says.
"Although the Memorandum does not give Iran sovereignty over the island or even parts of it, nor did it give Iran the right to take any security measures on it, Iran has been violating the provisions of the Memorandum ever since 1980," stressed the letter.
Out of keenness on further promoting friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, The United Arab Emirates urges Tehran to promptly revoke any and all actions that violate the 1971 Memorandum of Understanding. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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ISLANDS ISSUE - ABU MUSA AND GREATER & LESSER TUNBS

UAE renews call on Iran to accept peaceful settlement of isles
posted on 31/07/2008

Tehran - The United Arab Emirates has renewed its call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond to its peaceful initiatives for settling the issue of its three Islands - Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa occupied by Iran in 1971, either through direct bilateral negotiations or refer the case to the International Court of Justice.
The UAE call was made Tuesday by H.E. Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, while addressing the 15th meeting of foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which was hosted by Iran.
'Enhancement of NAM's capacity to stand up to international challenges requires true commitment to the principles it was founded for mainly those dealing with respect for sovereignty of states and self-determination of peoples, non-interference into other states' affairs and settlement of disputes and cases of foreign occupation through peaceful means,' Dr. Gargash said.
The UAE minister demanded the international community to take necessary measures as per the international law to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) including a nuclear free zone in the Middle East and Gulf. He also called on the world family to put pressure on Israel so as to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and place its nuclear facilities under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency in compliance with UN relevant resolutions.
'The UAE, while condemning the aggressions and crimes of war being committed by the occupying state of Israel against the Palestinian people on the Palestinian occupied lands, reaffirms the key role the UN and mainly the Security Council can play to force Israel halt its crimes against the Palestinian people, end its occupation and stop expropriation of lands for building more settlements and the separation wall which violates international legitimacy resolutions,' he added.
He stressed that efforts should be doubled to spur the world family including the UN, Security Council, major world powers and parties to the conflict in the Middle East to revive peace negotiations on the basis of the land for peace Formula and the Middle East peace road map.
On Iraq, the UAE minister urged the international community and Iraq's neighbours to expedite delivery of political support required to assist its government forge ahead with political process and boost its drive towards national reconciliation and accord with participation of all political spectres in this process and in efforts to fight terrorism, maintain security and achieve political independence.
'Out of its commitment to support Iraq, the UAE has waived US$ 4 billion in Iraq debts along with interest and arrears. We have also opened an embassy in Baghdad and named a resident ambassador there,' he said.
Turning to Iran's nuclear file, Gargash said ' There is a need to handle this file through dialogue and diplomatic negotiations and commitment to international relevant resolutions to ensure transparency in maintaining security and stability, safety of the environment and sustainable development in the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE criticises Iran over islands issue
posted on 28/05/2008

The United Arab Emirates slammed Iran on Tuesday for terming as a "misunderstanding" their row over three Gulf islands, saying the islands were under Iranian occupation and were no less precious than Arab lands occupied by Israel. "It seems the Iranian side does not want to understand. There is no 'misunderstanding' between us but an actual occupation" of the strategic islands controlled by Iran and claimed by the UAE, a foreign ministry official said.
"There is no occupied land more sacred than another occupied land. Occupation is occupation, whether it is by Israel, Iran or any other country," he said, requesting anonymity.
The official was responding to remarks by Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini on Sunday in which he rejected the UAE's quest for Russian mediation in the dispute. "Iran-UAE ties are at their best level and if there is a misunderstanding it can be resolved via bilateral talks and there is no need for others to intervene," Hosseini said.
The speaker of the UAE Federal National Council, an assembly which advises the government, said on Saturday that an FNC delegation which visited Moscow last week sought Russian mediation with Iran to persuade it to discuss the status of the islands.
The UAE, supported by other Arab states, has repeatedly proposed resolving the dispute through direct negotiations or international arbitration, but Iran has always refused. "If they want to have a negotiation about the occupied islands, this has been our demand for decades," the Emirati official said, referring to Hosseini's remark that the issue can be resolved in bilateral talks.
The 18th Session of the EU-GCC Joint Council concluded with a note of commendation for the UAE's initiatives on clean energy, notably the Masdar City project.
EU concern
The European Union (EU) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) expressed concern at the lack of progress towards resolution of the territorial conflict between the United Arab Emirates and Iran over Abu Musa and the Tunbs Islands. "The EU and the GCC support a peaceful solution to the conflict in accordance with international law, either through direct negotiations or by referring the issues to the international Court of Justice," said the communiqué. – AFP

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Russian senate supports UAE's right to its islands
posted on 23/05/2008

Moscow - The Russian senate supported the UAE's right to restore its three occupied islands; Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa. In addition, it supported the idea of forming a parliamentarian committee of UAE, Russian and Iranian representatives to discuss the issue of the UAE islands occupied by Iran.
This was announced by Sergey Mironov, Russian senate speaker, in a meeting, at the premises of the senate that gathered the delegation of the Federal National Council (FNC) headed by Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, speaker of the council, and the delegation of the Russian senate. The meeting was attended by Dr Muslih Ayedh Salem Al Ahbabi, UAE's Acting Charge D'Affaires in Moscow.
Mironov described the Gulf region as a sensitive area whose political situation affects peace and security around the globe, pointing out that the peaceful of issue of the three islands would contribute to maintaining peace and security in the region. He added that his country is ready to exert all efforts towards a peaceful solution for the issue of these islands.
Al Ghurair hailed the UAE-Russian relations, stressing that Russia could play a significant role in mediating between UAE and Iran with regard to the issue of the three islands. He also pointed out that a number of agreements between UAE and Russia are underway to be signed, a matter that will help in further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two sides. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Russia reacts positively to UAE's proposal on its occupied islands
posted on 22/05/2008

Russia has responded positively to the UAE request to convince Iran to accept a UAE suggestion with regard to solving the issue of the three UAE Islands occupied by Iran since 1971, either through direct negotiations or international arbitration.
Moscow gave its consent during a meeting held Wednesday between the visiting UAE Federal National Council (FNC) delegation, headed by Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, the FNC speaker, and a delegation from the Russian foreign ministry led by first deputy foreign minister Andre Dnisov , held at the premises of the ministry, the Dnisov said : "Iran has to maintain good relations with its neighbours, especially the UAE which is committed to seeking a peaceful solution for the problem of the three islands." He added that Russia would work hard to convince Iran to accept the UAE suggestion regarding the solution for this problem.
Dnisov has hailed the UAE-Russian relations, especially in the field of the foreign policy, pointing out that a number of agreements are expected to be signed by the two countries in different fields.
For his part, Al Ghurair expressed his hope that the relations between the two sides would grow further, and the two sides would develop their ties to strategic relations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Arab Parliament meditates parliamentary pressure on Iran on UAE isles
posted on 11/05/2008

Cairo - Deputy Speaker of the Arab Parliament Dr. Mustafa al Faqee said that he is coining the idea of parliamentary pressure on Iran to respond to UAE's demands on its three islands occupied by Iran. Al Faqee told Emirates News Agency (WAM) that the parliaments of all Arab countries should exert some kind of pressure on Tehran on the issue. He said that he will present this idea to the Speaker of the Arab Parliament Mohammed Jassem Al Sagar for tabling the subject in the next parliamentary session. The Arab Parliament, set up by an agreement by member countries in the Arab League earlier in 2001, consists of 44 MPs representing 22 countries.
'UAE should never abandon its right to the three islands. At the same time, standing by the political intelligence and the well-known wisdom of UAE, it is not desirable too that UAE rushes the issue into the arena of US-Iran confrontation over the Iranian nuclear programme'; opined Al Faqee. He also said that the islands issue should constitute a separate article in the direct relations between UAE and Iran.
Answering a question whether there is any practical methodology other than mentioning the issue at the international forums, Al Faqee stressed the need for raising the issue, but without making it mesh with the US-Iran faceoff.
"We don't share the same trench with America against Iran in the issue of islands, as Iran is a neighbouring Muslim country"; the Deputy Speaker of Arab Parliament said. However, he expressed hope that "Iran will behave differently with Arab countries despite of its agenda, which is not unknown to anyone". – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Bahrain reiterates UAE's right to the islands occupied by Iran
posted on 11/05/2008

Bahrain has reiterated UAE's right to the three islands occupied by Iran. Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair received a letter from his Bahraini counterpart Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani, who asserted the right of UAE to the three Islands; Tunb al Kubra, Tunb al Sughra and Abu Musa. Bahrain's Representative Council chairman mentioned in his letter that the Bahraini parliamentary delegation had asserted this stance during the 13th conference of Arab Parliamentary Union (APU) held in Erbil earlier in March and supported the resolution passed by APU in this regard. The Bahraini delegation had expressed its support to all actions UAE will follow to restore its sovereignty over the three islands; the letter noted. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Egypt reiterates support to UAE's right to its occupied islands
posted on 07/05/2008

Cairo - Egypt has renewed its support for the United Arab Emirates' rights to its three islands, Lesser Tunb, Greater Tunb and Abu Musa, occupied by Iran. This came during a meeting here today between Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazeef and Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, Speaker of the Federal National Council. The two sides also discussed economic and political relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen them.
Earlier, the FNC delegation, led by Al Ghurair, held talks with a delegation from the Egyptian People's Council, headed by its Speaker Dr Ahmed Fathi Suroor. Al Ghurair praised the stand expressed by Egypt in support to UAE's right over its three islands occupied by Iran. Suroor welcomed the UAE parliamentary delegation and lauded the strong fraternal relations between the two countries. He added that Egypt was proud to endorse UAE's candidacy for the Executive Committee of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU). Al Ghurair attended part of a session held by Egypt's People's Council, presided over by Dr. Suroor who welcomed him during the session's opening remarks.– Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Iraqi government reiterates UAE's sovereignty over three islands occupied by Iran
posted on 29/04/2008

In a memorandum sent to UAE's foreign ministry, the Iraqi government asserted its unconditional support to the sovereignty of UAE over its three islands occupied by Iran. The Iraqi parliamentary delegation had made a reservation on a resolution passed at the end of the 13th conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union held in Erbil earlier in March asserting UAE's right to the islands.
The memorandum sent by Iraqi Foreign ministry to UAE said that Iraq reiterates UAE's sovereignty over the three islands Tunb Al Kubra, Tunb Al Sugra and Abu Musa which are occupied by Iran. It also said that Iraq supports all procedures and peaceful means UAE will adopt to reclaim the three islands, and rejects any action from Iran to bolster the occupation. It said that Iraq will support all Arab and international initiatives to solve the issue peacefully either through direct talks between Iran and UAE or through litigation before the international court of justice as they will build confidence, peace and security in the region.
The memorandum alluded to Iraq's support to the Arab League resolution passed in the Arab Summit held on 29 and 30 in Syria asserting UAE's ownership of the three islands. The memorandum also noted that during the proceedings of the 13th conference of the APU, Iraq's President Jalal Talabani had asserted this stance in his speech at the closing session of the conference.
UAE Foreign Minister HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan appreciated Iraq's support to UAE's right to the three islands and said that this stance will give impetus to the solution of Arab issues.
Sheikh Abdullah alluded to the historic stance Iraq had adopted earlier in 1971 at the time of UAE's independence, submitting the occupation issue to the Arab League and the Security Council. "We appreciate this stance and remember the support Iraq gave at every regional and international forum asserting UAE's right to reclaim its three islands"; Sheikh Abdullah said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE demands Iran to end occupation of its islands
posted on 16/04/2008

Cape Town - The UAE used the general assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to demand the Islamic Republic of Iran to end occupation of its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.
'Despite the raft of regional and Arab resolutions including those issued by the recently concluded Arab summit in Damascus, Arab foreign ministers in Cairo and the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union (AIPU), which consider the islands as an occupied Arab land, Iran is still committing violations and acts that are not conducive to building confidence in response to initiatives aimed at settling the issue as per principles of the international law or referral to the International Court of Justice,' said Ahmed bin Shabib Al Dhahiri, First Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council, in a statement before the PIU meeting today. Al Dhahiri called on MPs of the world to urge their governments use necessary forces of influence they have to raise the island issue when they talk to Iran so as to respond to UAE peaceful initiatives for settling the issue.
The UAE proposed that an international parliamentary declaration on challenges facing the humanity in the next ten years be issued. He said that geopolitical groups should work out the three-pronged document on political, economic and social challenges.
The UAE also called for ending the double standards policy and approach in handling political issues, which undermines credibility not only towards the UN but also towards international and regional organisations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Iran asked to quit UAE isles
posted on 31/03/2008

The 20th Arab League Summit ended here yesterday with a renewed call on Iran to end its occupation of the UAE islands of Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs. The summit which was presided over by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad also condemned the incessant Iranian attempts to create a fait accompli by way of building settlements in the occupied islands.
"The continued attempts by Iran to build settlements and conduct war-games in the territorial waters, air space, economic zones and coral reefs of the occupied islands are all acts that constitute a gross violation of the UAE sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a communiqué issued at the end of the summit. The summit urged Iran to cease such acts of provocation, saying they amounted to unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
"Moreover, such acts cannot help in building confidence but would rather jeopardise regional stability and security,” the communiqué said.
The summit called on Iran to rethink its current position in favour of a negotiated settlement, either through serious and direct talks or through international arbitration.
In a significant boost to the UAE's right over the occupied islands, the Arab League member states committed themselves to raising the issue of the UAE islands in their respective contacts with Iran.
The islands of Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser and Tunbs, should be treated as occupied Arab territories,” the communiqué said.
The Arab summit also passed a decision to inform the UN secretary-general that the issue of the occupied UAE's Isles be kept on the Security Council's agenda until Iran ends its illegal occupation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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