Region | Syria

Leaders call on Iran to end occupation of UAE islands

The Arab Summit closes with a renewed call to Iran to end its occupation of the UAE islands of Abu Mousa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

  • WAM
  • Published: 22:25 March 30, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: EPA
  • Syrian President Bashar Al Assad (left) in conversation with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa (third from left) at the closing session of the summit.

Damascus: The Arab Summit wound up here on Sunday with a renewed call to Iran to end its occupation of the UAE islands of Abu Mousa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

The summit, which was presided over by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, also condemned the incessant Iranian attempts to create a fait accompli by way of building settlements on the occupied islands.

"The continued attempts by Iran to build settlements and conduct wargames in the territorial waters, air space, economic zones and coral reefs of the occupied islands, are all acts that constitute a gross violation of the UAE sovereignty and territorial integrity," said a communique issued at the end of the summit.

The summit urged Iran to cease such acts of provocation, saying they amounted to unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

"Moreover, such acts cannot help in building confidence but would rather jeopardise regional stability and security,'' it said.

The summit called on Iran to rethink its current position in favour of a negotiated settlement, either through serious and direct talks or through international arbitration.

In a significant boost to the UAE's right over the occupied islands, the Arab League member-states committed themselves to raising the issue in their respective contacts with Iran.

"The islands of Abu Mousa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs should be treated as occupied Arab territories," the communique said.

The summit also passed a decision to inform the UN Secretary-General that the issue of the occupied UAE isles be kept on the Security Council's agenda until Iran ends its illegal occupation.

On the Arab-Israeli conflict, the summit renewed its commitment to the Arab peace initiative of 2002, as the basis for a comprehensive settlement on all the tracks, as provided for in the relevant UN resolutions.

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