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Arab League affirms UAE sovereignty over Iranian-occupied Gulf islands

The Arab League on Wednesday reaffirmed the UAE’s full sovereignty over three islands in the Arabian Gulf occupied by Iran.

The council made the announcement at a summit in Cairo that focused on regional co-operation to tackle common threats and challenges.

It came as Egypt’s Ahmed Aboul Gheit was unanimously reappointed for a second five-year term as Secretary General.

The UAE joined several countries in emphasising the need for Arab unity in the face of the situations in Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Syria, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, repeated Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and foreign interference in Arab affairs.

The Arab League passed a resolution on “Iran’s occupation of UAE’s Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands in the Arabian Gulf”.

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The council denounced the Iranian government’s continued occupation of the three islands breached the UAE’s sovereignty “in a way that destabilises the region and threatens international peace and security”.

The council condemned Iranian construction of houses on the islands and military manoeuvres in the surrounding area.

UAE Minister of State Khalifa Al Marar said the UAE urged Iran to positively respond to its repeated calls for direct and peaceful negotiations to “settle the issue of our occupied islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb, or resorting to the International Court of Justice”, state news agency Wam reported.

The UAE led a ministerial committee on Iran’s meddling in Arab affairs.

Mr Al Marar also repeated support for an independent Palestinian state and condemned Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia.

He welcomed the formation of a new Libyan leadership that aims to pave the way for elections at the end of the year.

“The UAE is looking forward to other successful paths under the patronage of the UN,” he said.

 

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