Don’t test UAE’s resolve

Don’t test UAE’s resolve

There is no guidebook of reactions in the face of an unprecedented act of provocation.

Published: Sat 14 Apr 2012, 2:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:06 PM

You just do what is right. It is, therefore, extremely heartening to observe the immediate and collective support garnered from around the world for the UAE’s responses following the visit of the Iranian President to the Abu Mousa island which was illegally occupied by Iran in 1971. Yet, these islands are, and always will be, an integral part of the UAE.

What makes this visit inexplicable is that it comes at a time when the UAE and Iran have been establishing a platform of understanding on several fronts. If Mr Ahmadinejad was testing some sort of waters for the depth of the UAE’s resolve not only is it a bizarre exercise but also one that was not destined to work.

The UAE has shown political and diplomatic maturity and a high level of sagacity while clearly signposting its stand without rising to the bait. This restraint is admirable and yet the message to Tehran is also forthright and candid: such actions go against the fabric of unity so vital in these times and any activity or manoeuvre that detracts from the togetherness of the Arab world is self-indulgent. No one wins when peace, prosperity and stability are put under the cosh for no reason at all.

The UAE has taken the right decision in recalling its envoy because that move strongly underscores the existence of the very resolve that was being examined by this arbitrary visit.

What is disappointing is that it puts back all the initiatives of recent months to create a higher level of harmony and accord between Iran and its neighbours in the region.

There is a political saying that one does not fear to talk but one will not talk out of fear. This is an accurate assumption of the UAE’s stance in the matter and it has been unwavering for four decades and more. As a spearhead for global peace and a recognised and respected player on the international stage, the UAE has earned great goodwill and support for its statesmanship. Even now, it shows a will and a desire for normality but is unbending in its commitment to the principles of righteousness. So it shall stay.

It would be only fitting for the Iranian President to officially retrace his footsteps and make amends for what is a profound indiscretion.

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