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.


Iraq forces press Mosul assault

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears

Turkey reports over 35,000 people in detention after coup attempt

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: ‘we will completely destroy’ Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Iraq forces fight to tighten noose around Mosul

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances