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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed during a meeting with the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Abu Dhabi on March 16, 2023. Image Credit: UAE Presidential Court

Dubai: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday met Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, in Abu Dhabi and discussed bilateral relations and opportunities for enhancing cooperation between the two countries, the official WAM news agency said.

The talks also focussed on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and the importance of working to support peace and cooperation in the region to enable progress and prosperity for its people.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also met with Ali Shamkhani.

The meeting, held at the Za’abeel Palace in Dubai, explored ways to strengthen bilateral relations and partnerships between the two countries, Dubai Media Office said on Thursday.

They also discussed regional and international issues and new opportunities to work together to advance peace and cooperation in the region.

Earlier, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, met Shamkhani separately and discussed bilateral relations and opportunities to advance them in a way that serves the mutual interests of the two countries, WAM said.

Sheikh Tahnoun previously met Shamkhani during his visit to Iran in 2021, the first trip of its kind since relations between the two countries were downgraded in 2016.


Visit a meaningful beginning: Shamkhani

Shamkhani called his UAE visit “a meaningful beginning for the two countries to enter a new stage of political, economic and security relations,” Iran’s state news agency Irna said.

Iran’s top security official’s visit to the UAE comes after a surprise rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh last week.

Iran and Saudi Arabia announced a Chinese-brokered deal on March 11 to restore diplomatic ties after seven years.

Shamkhani represented Iran in the talks that led to the agreement, which was welcomed by the UAE and several other countries.

“We should try to increase the security, peace and well-being of the people of the region through dialogue and interaction..,” Shamkhani said during Thursday’s meeting with Sheikh Tahnoun, Irna reported.

In 2016, the Gulf states scaled back their ties with Tehran after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic missions in Iran following Riyadh’s execution of prominent cleric Nimr Al Nimr.

Last year, the UAE’s ambassador in Tehran resumed his duties after a six year absence, while in September, Iran’s top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran wanted to broaden relations with the UAE.