Iran wants closer ties with UAE

The UAE Ambassador to Iran, Saif Mohammed al-Zaabi, who has returned to Tehran to resume his stay at the mission, met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Ambassador to Iran, has resumed duties six years after ties between the two nations downgraded, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Ministry said that Zaabi met Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Tuesday during which the latter said that Tehran is interested in expanding relations with the UAE based on the neighbour-oriented policy, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We would like to broaden our relations with our neighbours, including the United Arab Emirates,” Amir-Abdollahian told the new Emirati ambassador, when they met on Tuesday, according to an official statement released early on Wednesday.

Amir-Abdollahian noted the need for regional countries to cooperate for stability and peace and the necessity to use the existing capacities in the development of relations between the two countries, organising consular relations and facilitating the activities of Iranian educational, services and medical institutions in the UAE.

Iran, UAE vow to develop ties

The foreign minister “also stressed the need for the region’s countries to cooperate for the sake of regional stability”, according to the ministry’s statement.

The UAE Ambassador, who said he is glad to return to Iran, highlighted that the economic and commercial capacities of both countries is an important factor in promoting bilateral relations.

He also expounded the views of top UAE officials regarding the good bilateral relations and activation of relevant committees and exchanging delegations between the two countries.

The decision for the envoy to resume his duties in Tehran was announced by the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in August, in a move “to contribute to further advancing bilateral relations in cooperation with officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region”.

Abu Dhabi recalled its ambassador from Tehran in 2016 in support of Saudi Arabia, which cut diplomatic ties with Iran in protest against the attacks on the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran following the Saudi execution of a Shia cleric.

Despite the diplomatic downgrade, the oil-rich UAE has maintained strong economic ties with the Islamic republic.

In 2020, the UAE established diplomatic relations with Israel, a move which Tehran condemned.

But Abu Dhabi has been pursuing a policy of rapprochement with former regional rivals including Qatar, Turkey and Iran.

Iran said last month that Kuwait had sent its first ambassador to Tehran since 2016.

Two Middle Eastern powerhouses, Iran and Saudi Arabia have both expressed willingness to overcome their disputes and were engaged in bilateral talks, which were first made public in April 2021.

In April, Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to President, affirmed UAE’s keenness to build bridges of dialogue and cooperation with all its neighbours, including Iran and Turkey, to promote regional security and stability.

Gargash underscored the UAE “will always resort to diplomacy, negotiation, and economic cooperation”. He said under the current changes in the region, it is necessary to manage matters peacefully with countries that have different policies and views, by working on the common grounds and putting differences aside.

“For example, Iran is a neighbour and therefore we endeavour to establish the best relations with it. We see that Turkey is a partner in our joint endeavour to prosperity and we continue to support the prospects of the Abraham Accords,” he said.

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