UAE | General

UAE wants sanctions on Iran to end

Final communique wrapping up two-day Gulf Cooperation Council meeting will not have any harsh words for Iran, delegate says

  • By Layelle Saad, GCC and Middle East Editor
  • Published: 20:00 December 7, 2010
  • Gulf News

Shaikh Khalifa chairs the GCC Summit
  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Shaikh Khalifa chairs the GCC Summit on Monday, attended by leaders of the other GCC countries at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
Image 1 of 13

Abu Dhabi: The UAE wants sanctions on Iran to end if its Gulf neighbour cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the international community over its nuclear programme.

The statement came on Tuesday after His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the conclusion of the 31st Summit of the Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf States in Abu Dhabi.

Addressing a press conference after the summit, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, UAE foreign minister,  said: "We want the Security Council to end sanctions on Iran, but they need to cooperate. We hope all parties will exercise goodwill to end this conflict," he said.

Shaikh Abdullah said he was delighted by the P5 + 1 meetings taking place in Geneva following nearly a year of standstill between Iran and the international community over its nuclear programme.

"It's a step forward and we are telling Iranians if they have issues of mistrust they can be resolved quickly, transparently and professionally," he said.

Iran has often accused the US of fomenting division and discord in the region, as Arab "moderate" governments and some GCC states on the other hand accuse Iran of being "troublemakers" in the region.

"GCC states reject anyone who creates division in the region," outgoing GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah told Gulf News on the sidelines of the GCC Summit.

Gulf leaders and the US said that the ball is in Iran's court to ease the apprehension of the international community over its nuclear programme during a security conference this weekend in Manama.

Commenting on the recent recognition by Brazil and Argentina of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, Shaikh Abdullah said it was a slap in the face to Israel. "This arrogant government needs more hits before they wake up. I solute these countries," he said.

Resumption of talks

Leaders of six US-allied Gulf nations will welcome the resumption of talks between Iran and world powers and will urge a peaceful end to the dispute over their neighbour's nuclear programme, a senior delegate at a summit of the six states said on Tuesday.

The final communique wrapping up the two-day Gulf Cooperation Council meeting will not have any harsh words for Iran, the delegate said - neither on the nuclear programme or Iran's alleged meddling in their affairs.

The gathering in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, comes as leaked US diplomatic memos revealed deeper concern among Gulf leaders over Tehran's nuclear programme than had previously been known - including a desire by several of them to see the United States destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

Arab leaders have long kept a calm public face about Iran, wary of provoking their powerful neighbour. But memos posted on the website WikiLeaks have revealed the depth of their worry, filled with warnings of Iran's drive for hegemony, of a potential arms race if Iran develops a nuclear weapon and concern Iran could push the region into war.

The GCC summit also coincided with a new round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva. The West says Iran's nuclear programme is designed to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies, insisting its objective is to generate electricity.

The GCC is a loose military, political and economic alliance founded in 1981, partly as a response to Iran's Islamic Revolution two years earlier and the threat that it could export its militant brand of Islam to them.

The GCC delegate told The Associated Press the summit's final communique will echo the words of Kuwait's emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who told the Summit's opening session late on Monday the GCC wanted to see an end to the nuclear dispute through "dialogue, peaceful means and adherence to the principles of international legitimacy".

The delegate, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the communique was still pending, said the Gulf leaders share a desire not to see the dispute with Iran escalate into an armed conflict, and that the oil-rich region's future hinged on sustained economic growth, stability and peace to encourage investment.

The delegate, who spoke to the AP on the sidelines of the summit, said the communique will also deal with some long-elusive issues, such as a proposed monetary union of the member states, a planned GCC-wide rail link and ways to share the six nations' infrastructure.

Yemen issue

On the issue of Yemen, the UAE foreign minister reiterated GCC support for a stable Yemen, and said their assistance and dedication to the Friends of Yemen initiative agreed upon in London, has not wavered. 

"The GCC states are the core countries in the Friends of Yemen and as a testament to our commitment the next Friends of Yemen meeting will be held in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of next year," he said. 

"Although things are not great in Yemen, they are not that bad," Shaikh Abdullah said, offering that Yemen's hosting of the Gulf Cup which concluded a few days ago  was a great success. 

Shaikh Abdullah also pointed out that GCC states welcome Yemen's labour force to their countries and even provide training prior to their arrival.

With input from agencies

Gulf News