New York: The UAE brought up the issue of the continued Iranian occupation of its three islands of Abu Mousa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs at the United Nations General Assembly.
Addressing the world body, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, said the UAE deemed all actions and measures taken by Iran since its occupation of the islands null and void, and contrary to international law and human values.
Shaikh Abdullah called upon the international community to urge Iran to reciprocate repeated efforts by the UAE to arrive at a just and peaceful settlement on the issue, either through direct negotiations or through the International Court of Justice.
“My government expresses once again its regret regarding the continued Iranian occupation of our three islands: Abu Mousa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and demands for the restoration of the UAE’s full sovereignty over these islands. We emphasize that all actions and measures taken by the Iranian occupation authorities are null and void, and are contrary to international law and to all norms and common human values,” Shaikh Abdullah said in his address during the general debate of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“We hope the Iranian government will deal with this sensitive and important issue in a positive and just manner in order to establish good neighbourly relations, build bridges of cooperation, preserve the common interests between our two countries, and strengthen security and stability in the region as a whole.”
Turning to issues needing urgent attention in the Middle East, Shaikh Abdullah described events in Syria as heart-breaking. “The UAE is following with deep concern the escalating acts of violence, killings and displacements perpetrated by the Syrian regime against its people, which made the regime lose its legitimacy. From this platform, we call upon the international community to consider with seriousness and commitment to what is happening to our brothers in Syria, and to shoulder its humanitarian and political responsibilities towards stopping the heinous tragedies committed against the peaceful people of Syria. We are convinced that the solution to this crisis will only be achieved through an orderly transition of power.
“This severe humanitarian crisis,” Shaikh Abdullah stressed, “requires us to support the people of Syria, particularly the refugees, displaced and wounded persons. The United Arab Emirates has shouldered its obligations and will continue to do so towards the people of Syria by providing ongoing relief operations round the clock in Turkey and Jordan, and urges all states to contribute to these humanitarian efforts.
“With respect to the Middle East,” he added, “the UAE believes that peace and stability cannot be achieved without resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is the central and vital issue to the people of the entire region, and reaching a just solution is the key for bringing peace and stability to the whole region, which cannot be realised without putting an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories through Israel’s withdrawal to the lines of the 4th of June 1967, including from East Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories, and through achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“The UAE welcomes the considerable progress achieved in the political process in Somalia through the completion of the transitional phase, the convening of its constituent assembly, the adoption of the constitution of Somalia and the election of Hassan Shaikh Mahmoud as the new President of Somalia. We also reaffirm our support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Somalia, and look forward to working with its government towards achieving security and stability and countering piracy,” Shaikh Abdullah said.