Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will hold an emergency meeting in Doha tomorrow to discuss key regional developments including Iran following a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Musa last week.
"The meeting will take stock of the situation and discuss the provocative measures adopted by Tehran that has sparked a diplomatic standoff between the UAE and Iran," said GCC General Secretariat spokesman Saleem A. A. Al-Alwi yesterday.
"This will be an extraordinary meeting of the GCC foreign ministers who will assemble primarily to discuss Iran and show solidarity with the UAE," said Al-Alwi. He said the meeting had been called by the UAE, which recalled its ambassador from Tehran on Wednesday after Ahmadinejad visited Abu Musa and claimed Iranian sovereignty over the island. The UAE has had claims on Abu Musa for a long time and considers Abu Musa and two other islands -- the Greater and Lesser Tunbs -- part of its territory.
Abu Dhabi has also lodged a protest with the United Nations over Ahmadinejad's visit, stressing that the territorial dispute should be resolved through negotiations or the International Court of Justice. The UAE has urged Tehran several times to hold negotiations over the islands, but Iran has refused to do so. Iran, the spokesman said, has opened up another chapter of confrontation when it is already facing international pressure over its nuclear program.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has blasted Ahmadinejad's Abu Musa visit as a "flagrant violation of the UAE sovereignty." The Arab Group at the United Nations has supported the UAE and condemned the Iranian president's visit to the island, which has been occupied by Iranian troops since 1971. The group, represented by Arab member states at the UN, made a statement after a meeting chaired by UAE's permanent representative to UN Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Jaramain on Friday.
"The Arab Group condemns this unfortunate and unjustified action by the Iranian president, as it represents a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the UAE and the principles of the UN Charter and international law," said the statement. The visit also demonstrates Iran's blatant disregard of the UAE's efforts and endeavors to resolve this issue by peaceful means, it added.
© Arab News 2012
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