UAE President Calls for Iran to Put End to its Occupation of Islands
The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) called Friday on Iran to end to its occupation of three Gulf islands to which the UAE lays claim.
"Despite the will of the Emirates to put an end to the Iranian occupation of the three islands -- Abu Mussa, the Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb -- through the path of serious negotiation, or by recourse to the judgement of the International Court of Justice, Tehran refuses to favorably answer our demands," said Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.
The UAE's president call came in a declaration on the 29th anniversary of the country's founding.
He expressed his disappointment at Iran's failure to respond to the mediation efforts led by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The GCC had formed a three-member committee, consisting of the Saudi, Qatari and Omani foreign ministers, to facilitate a dialogue between the UAE and Iran in 1999. So far, there has been no break through.
The United Arab Emirates's national federation council announced Wednesday it would never give up its claim to the three Gulf islands seized by Iran in 1971 after Britain withdrew from the region.
Tehran rejects the UAE's claims to the islands and considers them an integral part of Iran -- ABU DHABI (AFP)
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