UAE emphasises Muslim solidarity, urges Iran to end occupation of its islands

WAM CAIRO: The UAE emphasized the need for solidarity and cooperation among Muslim countries to overcome the current challenges seize opportunities and urged continuous efforts to secure the Muslim Nation’s interests and stature.

In a speech today before the 12th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Dr. Anwar Gargash said the UAE is following with great concern the current situations of Muslim peoples and communities and is eager to bolster ties among Muslim countries.

” Upon directives form President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE continues to provide humanitarian and development assistance to a number of Muslim countries,” he added.

“The government of the United Arab Emirates, once again, regrets the continued Iranian occupation of its three islands, Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and demands the restoration of the UAE’s full sovereignty,” Gargash said.

He affirmed that “security and stability in the Gulf region is a very high priority in our balanced policy which derives from the Charter of the United Nations and the international law its principles of peaceful coexistence, confidence-building, good neighborly relations, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and seeking peaceful means to resolve disputes and conflicts.” “Based on these principle, we hope the Iranian Government will deal with this sensitive and important issue in a positive and just manner in order to establish good neighborly relations, build bridges of cooperation, preserve the common interests between our two countries, and strengthen security and stability in this region as a whole,” he added.

Gargash called for “urging Iran to respond to the repeated peaceful, sincere calls of the UAE for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute.” The minister emphasised that “all actions and measures taken by the Iranian occupation authorities on the occupied islands are null and void, and are contrary to international law.” Speaking on Bahrain, Gargash welcomed the national dialogue initiative launched by King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and urged “all involved parties to actively and positively in a purposeful national dialogue that serves the Kingdom of Bahrain and its people.” On Syria, minister Gargash said the UAE is following with great concern the Syrian regime’s escalation of violence, killing and displacement against the Syrian people.

“We call on the international community to consider, in a determined and serious manner, what happens to our Syrian brothers and to shoulder its humanitarian and political responsibility so as to put and end to the horrendous tragedies facing the peaceful Syrian people. We are convinced that the crisis will only be resolved through a peaceful and orderly transition,” Gargash added.

He also commended the Arab Peace Initiative as “a realistic and practical approach to solve the Palestinian issue and preserve the rights of the Palestinian people to establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the 4 June 1967 borders, to the return of refugees and to the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories including the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and Southern Lebanon.” WAM/MMYS

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