ABU DHABI -UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday condemned in the strongest possible terms a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the UAE’s island of Abu Mousa, occupied by Teheran since 1971.
Shaikh Abdullah blasted the visit as a “flagrant violation” of the UAE sovereignty over its territories and a “setback” to all efforts and attempts the UAE has been making to find a peaceful settlement to Iran’s occupation of the three UAE islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa either through direct negotiations or resorting to the International Court of Justice.
“This visit will not change the legal status of these islands which are part and parcel of the UAE national soil,” Shaikh Abdullah emphasised.
He asserted that the visit and the provocative rhetoric of the Iranian president exposed Iran’s false allegations regarding its keenness to establish good-neighbourliness and friendship with the UAE and countries of the region.
The UAE foreign minister denounced the timing of the visit, saying it comes at a time when the two countries agreed to make more efforts to turn over the page by reaching a solution to the issue, and at a time the UAE has committed to what both countries had agreed out of a desire to create a conducive environment for reaching a solution that enhances stability in the region.
Ahmadinejad’s visit, Shaikh Abdullah said, was a gross breach of this agreement.
Shaikh Abdullah called on Iran to take measures and stances that strengthen confidence between countries and peoples of the region and to refrain from such provocative steps which muddy relations between the two countries and depress efforts aimed at finding a fair solution to the issue of the occupied islands.