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 PM calls for punishment of protesters involved in violence

Deadly car bomb hits Turkey refugee hub near Syria border

Rouhani allies win second round of Iran parliament elections

Yemen government forces seize Qaeda training camp

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

War continues in Aleppo, with US-Russia agreement

Angry protesters storm Iraq Green Zone

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

South Sudan unveils unity government

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria