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Arab ministers reject Iran’s expansionist policies

Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state

Gulf News

Dubai: Arab Foreign Ministers met in Cairo on Wednesday and agreed on several important regional issues.

On the issue of Iran, the ministers called on Tehran to stop its expansionist policies and cease its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The ministers also reaffirmed the UAE’s sovereignty over its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, and reiterated its support for all peaceful means and measures taken by the UAE to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands.

The ministers condemned Iranian government’s continued occupation of the three islands and its violation of the sovereignty of the UAE, as aggressive acts that undermine regional security and stability and threaten international peace.

They also denounced Iranian government’s building of housing facilities in order to accommodate Iranians on the three occupied islands.

The ministers also condemned Iranian military exercises in regions which include the UAE islands, their territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands which are an integral part of the United Arab Emirates, 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 to 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.

Abdul Rahman Bin Ebrahim Al Rassi, Under-Secretary at the Saudi Ministry for Foreign Affairs for International Affairs and President of the 149th Session of the Arab League Council said Arab countries faced major challenges but they would not be deterred from their main concern, which is the Palestine issue.

The foreign ministers insisted that Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

On the issue of of Yemen, the minsters reaffirmed their support for the legitimate Yemeni government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in countering an Al Houthi-coup.

The ministers praised Saudi Arabia’s efforts in providing humanitarian aid for the Yemeni people and assisting the efforts of the United Nations there.

On Syria, the ministers backed previous UN Security Council resolutions on the matter calling for a political solution.

They issued a statement supportin the “moderate Syrian opposition”, as well as the formation of a transitional government to stop the bloodshed.

Syria’s unity must also be protected, the ministers stated.

Arab Summit in Riyadh delayed until April

Saudi Arabia has postponed an upcoming Arab Summit in Riyadh to April, saying the original date in late March clashed with Egypt’s presidential election, the Saudi chairman of an Arab League meeting said on Wednesday.

At a joint press conference with Arab League Chief Ahmad Abu Al Ghait, Ahmad Al Qattan, state minister for African affairs, also said that the Arab states will seek to prevent Israel from gaining a rotating seat on the UN Security Council in 2019.

Winning a Security Council seat requires a two-thirds majority in the 193-nation General Assembly.

Candidates are proposed by the five regional groups but election to the council is done by the full assembly.

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