Iran told to resolve dispute over UAE’s three islands

MANAMA — The 25th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit concluded here yesterday with a call to Iran to resolve peacefully the issue of three UAE islands of Abu Moussa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs occupied by Iran, or the GCC will consider taking it to the International Court of Justice at The Hague for a permanent solution.

By From Hemu Gorde, Our Correspondent

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Published: Wed 22 Dec 2004, 10:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:33 PM

The summit also decided to postpone the discussion on the controversial issue of the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bahrain and the US.

The issue is widely believed to have made the Saudi Crown Prince Abdulla bin Abdulaziz shun the annual meeting of the six-member regional states, and to deputise the country’s Second Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence, Prince Sultan ibn Abdulaziz, to head its delegation.

Additionally, the two-day summit — named Zayed Summit —agreed to allow the labour ministers of the member states to deal with the problem of the expatriate workforce collectively, rather than individually, to achieve the desired results.

Further, the GCC leaders also expressed the importance of establishing a regional rail network, and agreed to conduct a detailed study in this regard while emphasising that this project would help enhance economic activities and cooperation between the member states.

The leaders also discussed the possibility of constructing a causeway linking Qatar and Abu Dhabi, and agreed to conduct a study on the project.

Addressing a Press conference jointly at the conclusion of the summit, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and the GCC Secretary General, Abdulrahman Al Attiya, underlined that the leaders strongly condemned all acts of terrorism wherever they take place and in whatever form, as well the motives behind such acts, their resources, their motives and their justifications.

“A firm stand to combat terrorism will be taken to ensure security and safety of all the people,” Shaikh Mohammed noted, underlining that “the GCC states condemn all acts of terrorism.”

The leaders also condemned the recent terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah where innocent people lost their lives.

According to Al Attiya, the leaders stressed on the importance of education, which they (the leaders) agreed, he added, that it was the basis of progress.

With respect to the peace in the Middle East, resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict and finding a solution to the dispute between the UAE and Iran over the three islands, will always remain of vital importance to the GCC, Shaikh Mohammed said.

Shaikh Mohammed called on Iran to resolve the three islands issue with the UAE peacefully, or the GCC will consider taking it to the International Court of Justice at The Hague for a permanent solution.

When asked, he said that the GCC states have always emphasised on making the region free of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), adding Iran says that its nuclear programme is not aimed at weapons, but for peaceful purposes.

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