Revisit policies, Iran told

Anwar Ahmad
Filed on April 21, 2011
Revisit policies, Iran told

ABU DHABI - Iran should reconsider its policies in the region and respect the unity of Gulf countries, UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, amid heightened regional tension.

Shaikh Abdullah, who chaired the annual Gulf Cooperation Council and European Union ministerial meeting, later told a news conference: “Iran should reconsider its policies in the region. And it should respect the unity and sovereignty of Gulf countries.”

At a joint Press conference with Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, at the Emirates Palace on Wednesday evening, Shaikh Abdullah said: “I’m trying to carefully choose my words. I don’t want to act like some Iranian officials who throw their words in an abrasive and indecent way.”

“I hope that Iran would respect the unity of the Gulf states and their sovereignty and would not meddle in their internal affairs because those who do not respect others or a country that does not respect others, would not be respected by others,” Shaikh Abdullah said.

“We share a common civilisation with Iran and love them. Mutual respect of each other is beneficial for all of us, and for prosperity and peace in the region,” Shaikh Abdullah added.

On Wednesday, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah confirmed that Iranian diplomats accused of spying have been expelled, in part of another ongoing Iran-Gulf Arab spat. “We kicked them out,” Shaikh Mohammed told reporters in Abu Dhabi when asked about Iranian diplomats Kuwait had said it would expel. He did not provide details on them.

At Wednesday’s Press conference Ashton said: “My key role in dealing with Iran is on nuclear weapons. We have always urged Iran to look at the West’s offers, which are still on the table.”

Speaking on Arab issues, she said: “We believe that the Gaddafi regime has been intolerant towards the Libyan people, and the European Union has acted swiftly in providing humanitarian assistance and putting economic pressure on the regime and we remain determined to put an end to the crisis and to work with our colleagues in Libya.”

“We have already provided them 100 million euros of humanitarian aid. We know that any solution in Libya should be a political one. We have offered to work together to resolve issues in the Arab world. I urge Iran to play a constructive role in the region,” she said.

Shaikh Abdullah said: “We had important discussion in Doha and Berlin recently to stabilise the situation in Libya and find more means and partners to resolve the crisis. Of course, we want a political solution in Libya.”

Calling for an immediate and genuine ceasefire in Libya, the GCC and the European Union stressed that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime has lost its legitimacy and expressed support to the Transitional National Council as a legitimate interlocutor representing the aspirations of the Libyan people.

The two sides also underlined the importance of ensuring the unity and territorial integrity of Libya. They welcomed the efforts undertaken by the international community to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1970 and 1973 on Libya.

In a joint communique, the two sides expressed their deep concern over the situation in Yemen. They reiterated their commitment to support Yemen’s development as a unified, stable, democratic and prosperous state. They called on all parties in Yemen to urgently forge a meaningful, comprehensive and inclusive agreement on political transition.

The two sides urged Iran to play a constructive role in the region and to cease interfering in the internal affairs of GCC member states and other countries in the region. The ministers called on Iran to fulfil its obligations under international law to provide protection for diplomatic missions in Iran.

(With inputs from agencies)

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