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Fri 13 Mar 2015 04:02 AM

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UAE wins new backing in islands dispute with Iran

Council of the Arab League reiterates its support to the UAE in the long-running ownership dispute

UAE wins new backing in islands dispute with Iran
Abu Musa is one of three islands at the centre of the row between the UAE and Iran.

The Council of the Arab League has reiterated its support to the UAE in the long-running ownership dispute over the three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.

The Council also said it backed all peaceful means and measures taken by the UAE to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands which are occupied by Iran.

In a statement cited by news agency WAM, the Council condemned the Iranian government for "perpetuating its occupation of the three islands and violating the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates".

It said Iran's actions were "undermining security and stability in the region".

The Council condemned the Iranian government's building of dwelling facilities in order to house Iranians on the three occupied islands.

It also condemned Iranian military exercises in regions which include the UAE islands, their territorial waters, airspace territory, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands.

It demanded Iran to "stop such violations and provocative acts which constitute interference in the internal affairs in a sovereign state".

The Council condemned Iran's opening of two offices on Abu Musa island, calling on Iran to remove these illegal establishments and respect the sovereignty of the UAE over its territory.

The statement also hailed the UAE for its efforts to find a peaceful settlement with Iran, with the Council expressing its hope that Iran will re-consider its stance, either through serious and direct negotiations or by resorting to the International Court of Justice.

Late in 2013, it was reported that Iran and the UAE were close to reaching a deal on returning three Iranian-occupied islands to the UAE but no agreement has since been signed.

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