Iran asked to quit UAE isles

Filed on March 31, 2008

DAMASCUS — The 20th Arab League Summit ended here yesterday with a renewed call on Iran to end its occupation of the UAE islands of Abu Moussa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

The summit which was presided over by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad also condemned the incessant Iranian attempts to create a fait accompli by way of building settlements in the occupied islands.

“The continued attempts by Iran to build settlements and conduct war-games in the territorial waters, air space, economic zones and coral reefs of the occupied islands are all acts that constitute a gross violation of the UAE sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a communique issued at the end of the summit.

The summit urged Iran to cease such acts of provocation, saying they amounted to unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

“Moreover, such acts cannot help in building confidence but would rather jeopardise regional stability and security,” the communique said.

The summit called on Iran to rethink its current position in favour of a negotiated settlement, either through serious and direct talks or through international arbitration.

In a significant boost to the UAE’s right over the occupied islands, the Arab League member states committed themselves to raising the issue of the UAE islands in their respective contacts with Iran.

The islands of Abu Moussa, Greater and Lesser and Tunbs, should be treated as occupied Arab territories,” the communique said.

The Arab summit also passed a decision to inform the UN secretary-general that the issue of the occupied UAE’s isles be kept on the Security Council’s agenda until Iran ends its illegal occupation.

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