Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan shake hands after their joint news conference following their talks in Moscow Image Credit: AP

Dubai - The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that "clear, scientific and convincing" evidence was required on recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region.

Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was speaking in Moscow at a press conference with his Russian counterpart that was broadcast on Al Arabiya TV, also called for de-escalation of tensions in the region.

“Expanding international cooperation to protect ships in waterways was discussed,” the UAE official said.

He added that the UAE is interested in keeping sea routes open.

“We discussed with Russian officials recent attacks in the Gulf of Oman. These attacks are subversive operations,”  

UAE foreign minister had discussed escalating tensions between the US and Iran with Russian officials in Moscow today. "Gulf countries should be included in any new deal on Iran’s nuclear programme in order to ensure its success,"

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow will try to persuade the United States and Iran to start “civilized” dialogue.

“This, of course, assumes the end to the policy of ultimatums, sanctions and blackmail,” Lavrov told a briefing.

Tensions have been rising between Tehran and Washington after Iran shot down last week a US drone that Americans said was flying in international airspace over the vital Strait of Hormuz.

The UAE has submitted the results of an investigation into explosive blasts last month on four vessels off its coast, including two Saudi oil tankers, to the United Nations which showed that a state actor was behind the operation but without naming any country.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran, a charge Tehran denies.

On Yemen’s conflict, he said there are continued UAE efforts backing the UN peace envoy for re-establishing in the country. “We will work with the UN to reach a political solution in Yemen,” he said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading an Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-allied Al Houthi militants.