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Abdullah bin Zayed and Iranian Foreign Minister discuss ties of cooperation and friendship

posted on 16/04/2014: 2665 views



Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has described relations between the United Arab Emirates and Iran as deeply rooted in history and founded on a solid foundation based on mutual respect and cooperation and that is to maintain the security and stability of the region under the leadership of the two friendly nations. This attitude was held by the late founder of the federation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and one that was continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

This came during the speech delivered yesterday by Sheikh Abdullah at the end of the 2nd Higher UAE-Iranian Joint Commission, held in Abu Dhabi in the presence of the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his accompanying delegation, and wished them a pleasant stay in the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, adding that the UAE was looking forward to opportunities to develop the cooperation between our two neighbouring countries.

"The relations between the United Arab Emirates and Iran is rooted in history and is founded on a solid foundation based on mutual respect and cooperation and that is to maintain the security and stability of the region under the leadership of the two friendly nations.

"We would like to emphasise that any efforts made by the Commission towards supporting relations between the two parties is both acknowledged and encouraged by the leaderships of our countries who aim to fulfil the interests of their people.

"Moreover, this meeting indicates good intentions from both leaderships to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to pave the way for future links between them.

Sheikh Abdullah said the Islamic Republic of Iran is a strategic partner of the UAE, and their relations are not limited to trade and economic interests but extend to cultural and civilizational links which are evident in both countries.

"We look forward with a great deal of positivity to His Excellency President Hassan Rouhani's overall stance towards strengthening Iran's relationship with Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries and we view this as an opportunity to reinforce our historical bonds and to eradicate any disparities and disagreements." Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE welcomed the recent Geneva Agreement P5+1 on achieving successful nuclear weapons negotiations, and it hoped to maintain the region's safety from the threat of nuclear proliferation by promoting common security and opening doors for greater potential cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries of the world, starting with countries in the region.

"This is why this commission's work is ever important as is any similar attempt to promote cooperation. The UAE will exert all efforts to remove any hurdles that may come in the way of strengthening relations between us. One way of doing so will be to advance the diplomatic and consular presence between the two nations.

Sheikh Abdullah continued by saying: "Our last visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran at the end of November last year came within the framework of our keenness to develop dialogue between the two sides along with exchanging of mutual visits for the senior officials of both countries, which highlights the importance of direct contact as the best way to overcome any challenge through adopting the dialogue principle. We must even take note that cultural and technical cooperation is not less important than cooperation in the economic and trade fields. All these give encouragement to the partnership between the two countries.

"We hope that the work of this Commission will be based on setting up measurable frameworks and arrangements that pave the way for more cooperation between our countries in order to achieve joint interests, taking into consideration both sides' commitment to international regulations and looking forward for wider horizons where many obstacles can be removed, those which hinder trade, economic, cooperation and investment exchange. In this regard, the joint commission can begin in setting up the basis and required regulations to achieve this ambition and vision and to start a new chapter of relations.

Sheikh Abdullah noted that trade exchange volume between our countries number of years ago was Dh44 billion yearly, but it slowed down during the last few years to around Dh25 billion in 2012. he expressed the hope that detente will continue between Iran and the world to reach to these old averages.

"No doubt that there is a chance for the private sector of both sides for mutual investment once obstacles put into force by the commitment of international decisions are removed, providing frameworks and agreements upon which the commission shall start work immediately, and this will not be only limited to the fields of energy, food and pharmaceutical industries, as there are wider fields we can utilise, for example, financial services and energy. There are many ways for interchanging experiences between our countries, such as in the manufacturing, infrastructure, health-care and other fields.

"There is no doubt that the development of Iran's relations with the world will require further growth, including the air and sea transport industry as well as others. In this context, the UAE has a great deal to offer through the establishment of private sector partnerships between both countries.

"The task before us is a significant one. It requires the coordination of financial, economic and legal legislations to facilitate cooperation and further develop mutual relations, especially in the private sector.

"Peace, development and prosperity in the region are a right for all and as long as progress, development and cooperation increase, peace, tranquillity and quietness will spread for all.

"Finally, I wish the Minister and his accompanying delegation a fruitful stay and all the commission's members success in achieving the desired goals based on the commission's work." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the importance of using all the capacities to cement bilateral ties.

He said Iran-UAE relations have always been very good and brotherly, Zarif said, adding that there is a strong foundation for transforming these relations into a strategic partnership in the region.

He cited mutual visits to Tehran and Abu Dhabi by foreign ministers of Iran and the UAE in the past few months as major steps forward and an evidence of the two countries desire to move these relations to higher levels.

The Iranian foreign minister said that trade between Iran and the UAE is significant compared to Iran's trade with other regional country. However he called for further increase in trade between the two countries.

Zarif referred to some 200 flights each week between Iran and the UAE as a sign of important relations between the two nations and to the meetings of Joint Consular Commission and the agreements reached on fight against organized crimes.

The Iranian Foreign Minister extended thanks to the members joint commission and to the two countries' embassies for their role in strengthening relations and referred to cooperation, negotiations and mutual trust as key ingredients for peace, security and economic prosperity.

"What we share in common in this region is far bigger than what could divide us. Therefore, it is our duty to serve our peoples by promoting global peace," he said.

Zarif said the UAE and Iran have important and effective role to play in the face of terrorism and radicalism in the region and this requires wisdom and continuous dialogue among the officials of the two countries.

He also emphasised the importance of cooperation among government and non-government organisations in the UAE, saying Iran could be a reliable partner for all countries of the region.

Sheikh Abdullah and Zarif signed minutes of the commission's meeting.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on sports was signed by Ibrahim Abdul Malik, Secretary General of the General Authority for Youth and Sports and Dr. Hassan Amir, Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs.

Two MOUs on establishing a business council between the two countries and on federation of chambers of commerce and industry were signed by Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Romaithi, Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Gulam Hussain Shafi, Chairman of the Iranian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Minerals and Agriculture.

The Commission's meetings were attended by representatives of public and private sectors in the two countries and by Mohamed Obaid Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Iran and Mohammad Reza Fayad.

Earlier, Sheikh Abdullah met Zarif and discussed with him a number of topics of mutual interest, as well as the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and ways to enhance them. Also discussed were regional developments and issues of common interest. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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