First Published: 2012-06-28

 

Obama, UAE crown prince discuss disputed islands

 

Both leaders call for peaceful resolution of status of three islands occupied by Iran.

 

Middle East Online

Obama and Prince Nahyan also called on Iran to meet its international nuclear obligations

WASHINGTON - The United States Wednesday backed the United Arab Emirates in its dispute with Iran over three Gulf islands, as President Barack Obama met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The two leaders met for lunch at the White House and issued a joint call for a peaceful resolution of the status of the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, occupied by the Islamic Republic but claimed by the UAE.

A joint US and UAE statement issued after the meeting, which was closed to the press, said Obama and the prince "called for a peaceful resolution of the islands' status."

The United States "strongly supports the UAE's initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, the International Court of Justice, or another appropriate international forum," the statement said.

The UAE claims the islands under the terms of a 1971 agreement signed when Britain ended its colonial-era reign over that part of the Gulf.

Iran rejects any UAE claim to the islands, saying they have always been part of its territory.

The head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards made a pointed visit to islands in May, in what was seen by the UAE as a provocation.

Obama and Prince Nahyan also called on Iran to meet its international nuclear obligations and backed UN envoy Kofi Annan's tattered plan designed to end bloodshed in Syria, calling for a political transition there.

"Noting the profound changes taking place in other countries in the Middle East, they called on governments and citizens alike to avoid violence, advance tolerance, and protect human rights -- particularly the rights of women," the statement said.

"They highlighted the importance of reforms that support accountable governance, increase civic participation, and promote economic opportunities, especially for young people."

As security tensions rise in the Gulf in the absence of diplomatic progress on ending Iran's nuclear program, Obama and Prince Nahyan also pledged to conduct more military exercises and training and to identify future defense equipment sales.

"The President and Crown Prince discussed the importance of protecting critical shipping lanes against threats of aggression, terrorism, and piracy. "The President congratulated the Crown Prince on the announcement of the opening of a new 1.5 million (barrels per day) oil pipeline that crosses the UAE."

The pipeline would allow supplies to bypass the Strait of Hormuz, a potential choke point in the event of a US military showdown with Iran.

 

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Oil prices fall after Yemen-inspired gains

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital

Death toll from hotel attack rises as fighting continues in Somalia

Turkish parliament passes security bill after long debate

Turkey army chief of staff visits historic tomb inside Syria

Saudi-led coalition keeps up raids against Yemen rebels

Assad says open to dialogue with US

US backs Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Heavy Saudi raids force Sanaa residents to flee

Israeli Arab MP walks for Bedouins

Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen

Kerry presses Iran on nuclear deal before deadline

Somali pirates seize Iranian fishing vessel

Borse Dubai sells big stake in London Stock Exchange

Can Arabs form joint military force?

Libya rivals discuss UN-backed peace proposals

French President to join 'anti-terror' march in Tunis

Sisi underscores Egypt’s rights to tap Nile water

US-led coalition aircraft bomb Tikrit

Saudi warplanes strike Yemen rebels in Sanaa

Netanyahu to form Israel new government after shock victory

Turkey military responds to Kurdish attacks in southeast

Leaders see horror of air crash as investigators step up probe

Fistfight in Iraqi Kurdish parliament

Syria rebels seize ancient town of Busra Sham

UN reveals plethora of abuses against activists in Libya

IS attack kills 5 militia fighters in Libya city of Sirte

Yemen President ‘in safety’ as rebel forces advance

US considering launching air strikes on Tikrit

Yemen Huthis seizes key airbase near Aden

'Feminist' policy costing dear to Sweden

Obama says row with Netanyahu ‘substantive’

Tunisia honours victims of deadly attack on national museum

Roadside bomb kills two Egypt soldiers in restive Sinai

‘Islamic State’ woos Syria children with money: More than 400 recruited in 2015 alone

Huthi-led militia push on southern Yemen

US envoy to Libya leaves Twitter after barrage of online abuse

US provides 'eye in the sky' to support Iraq Tikrit operation

Turkey prosecutors launch probe as ruling party rift grows