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.

 

Turkey, Saudi Arabia could launch anti-ISIS ground operation in Syria

Saudi Foreign Minister: No Assad in the future, period!

Sadr loses patience with stalled progress on Iraq reform package

French PM warns major terrorist attacks will hit Europe again

Pope mends 1,000-year-old rift with Russian Patriarch

Russia sees ‘new Cold War’ amid strains with West

Assad vows to retake whole of Syria ‘while negotiating’

Israel denies dropping controversial Brazil envoy pick

Yemen loyalist forces advance towards Sanaa

Italian PM warns Egypt friendship on the line

Tunisia prepares for possible intervention in Libya

UAE to deploy jets, commandos in anti-IS campaign

100,000 refugees in Syria border camps near Turkey

Greece given three-month ultimatum to remedy border ‘deficiencies’

Ankara hails world powers' Syria ceasefire plan

Five Yemen police killed in ‘Qaeda’ attack in Aden

Kuwait to finalise Eurofighter jet deal with Italy

S.Sudan president names arch-rival his deputy

Berlin film fest competition kicks off with Arab film

War-torn Syria gears towards 'cessation of hostilities'

Iraqi PM urges Kurdistan to drop any plans for independence

Russia accuses US planes of hitting Aleppo

Anti-ISIS coalition looks to decisive new phase

Turkey, Israel open new normalisation talks

Assault on Aleppo displaces tens of thousands

Moroccan King inaugurates Aquaculture Farm in Oued Ed-dahab

Turkish forces end operation in southern town

NATO launches unprecedented Aegean migrant naval mission

Erdogan threatens to send millions of refugees to EU

Suspected PKK militants attack two Turkey pro-govt newspapers

Train derails in Egypt’s Bani Sueif province

Iranians mark 37 years since Islamic revolution

Moscow ready to discuss modalities of ceasefire in Syria

Egypt hires UK firm to review Sharm security

Tunisia makes $500 million from assets of ousted president

Turkey dismisses pressure to open borders as 'hypocritical'

Efforts to form Libya unity government stumble over defence portfolio

Iran blames failure of Syria peace talks on participation of ‘terrorists’

Syria opposition hopes for end of sieges

UAE names women state ministers in major government shake-up

French Foreign Minister steps down with criticism of US role in Syria

Germany hopes Syria talks in Munich will agree to provide aid

Syrian Kurdish separatists open Moscow representation

Jordan rejects France extradition request for 1982 terror attack suspects

Libya parliament extends deadline for formation of new unity government