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Arab League reaffirms UAE’s sovereignty over occupied islands

Arab League condemns Iran’s continuation in perpetuating its occupation of UAE’s three islands

Gulf News

Cairo: The Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers reiterated its emphasis on the absolute sovereignty of the UAE over its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa, and expressed its support for all peaceful means and measures taken by the UAE to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands.

In a resolution issued on Wednesday at the end of the 148th session in Cairo on Iran’s occupation of the UAE islands, the council condemned the continuation of the Iranian government in perpetuating its occupation of the three islands and its violation of the sovereignty of the UAE, thereby undermining security and stability in the region and leading to threatening international peace and security.

The council condemned the Iranian government’s building of dwelling facilities in order to house Iranians on the three occupied islands.

The council also condemned Iranian military exercises in regions which include the UAE islands, their territorial waters, airspace territory, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands which are an integral part of the UAE, and demanded Iran to stop such violations and provocative acts which constitute interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign, independent state.

“These provocative acts do not help build confidence, but instead threaten security and stability in the region and endanger the security and safety of regional and international navigation in the Arabian Gulf,” the resolution stressed.

The council condemned Iran’s opening of two offices on Abu Mousa island, calling on Iran to remove these illegal establishments and respect the sovereignty of the UAE over its territory.

The council denounced inspection tours paid by members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Consultative Assembly of the occupied islands as a violation to UAE’s sovereignty over its territories and undermine efforts being made to reach a peaceful settlement to the issue.

“Iran is demanded to stop these provocative acts,” the resolution emphasised.

The council also hailed the initiatives of the UAE and its efforts to find a peaceful and just settlement to the issue of the three occupied islands with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The council reiterated its call on the Iranian government to end the occupation of the UAE islands, desist from imposing a “fait accompli” by force, stop the establishment of any facilities on the islands with the aim of changing their demographic and population composition, and cancel all procedures and remove all establishments that have been previously carried out by Iran unilaterally on the three islands, considering these measures as void and having no legal standing, describing these acts as contrary to the provisions of international law and the Geneva Convention of 1949.

The council expressed its hope that Iran will reconsider its stance of refusing to find a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands belonging to the UAE, either through serious and direct negotiations or by resorting to the International Court of Justice.

It called on Iran to translate its announced desire to improve relations with the Arab countries in dialogue, and remove tension, by taking practical and concrete steps in both word and deed, to respond genuinely to the sincere calls issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, GCC and Arab countries, international groups, friendly countries and to the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations, for a solution to the dispute over the three occupied islands by peaceful means in accordance with the norms and conventions and rules of international law through direct negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice in order to build confidence and enhance security and stability in the Gulf region.

The council also stressed the commitment of Arab countries to constantly raise the issue of UAE’s three occupied islands during their contacts with Iran, based on the fact that they are occupied Arab territories and notify the UN Secretary-General and president of the UN Security Council to keep the issue on

the council’s agenda until Iran ends its occupation and the UAE restores its full sovereignty over its islands.

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