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Hamdan's visit to Iran/Reactions

posted on 01/06/2002: 781 views

Hamdan's visit to Iran/Reactions

The visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran on May26 and 27 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for foreign Affairs, has been welcomed by various GCC, Arab, regional and international circles. At the GCC level, the two-day visit, which coincided with the 4th GCC Consultative Summit, held on May26 in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, was highly applauded by the GCC leaders at the meeting. This was clearly indicated in the statement of the GCC Secretary General, Abdul Rahman Atiyya, which he delivered at the summit, expressing the hope of the GCC that the visit would lead to a positive result, which will immensely contribute in enhancing relations between the UAE and Iran and pave the way to strengthening relations of friendship and cooperation between GCC member states and the Islamic Republic so as to further consolidate peace and stability in the region.

GCC, Arab and international media also applauded the visit, which they followed with great interest. They gave wide coverage to the positive meetings the UAE minister had with the Iranian President, Mohammed Khatami, and a number of senior Iranian officials. Kuwait's official news agency, KUNA, said that the positive statements, which the officials from the two sides issued at the end of the visit, reflect the positive development of improving political relations between the two countries, adding that those statements were crowned with a disclosure of an impending visit to the UAE by President Khatami, which would be the first by an Iranian President since the establishment of the UAE federation in 1971.

Commenting on the meeting of President Khatami with Sheikh Hamdan, the official Iranian news agency IRNA, said that Tehran sees the UAE as an independent, powerful and developed country, adding that President Khatami's government does not see any obstacles that could impede further progress in the bilateral relations of the two countries. The agency highlighted President Khatami's remarks on the vital role of the UAE in maintaining security of the Gulf, particularly his statement in which he remarked that " there are many things that bind the two countries together.”

For its part the Saudi Press Agency WASS, highlighted the remarks of the Iranian Vice President for Parliamentary and legal Affairs, in which he noted that the "UAE is a neighbouring country with which Iran shares historical and cultural ties”. WASS expressed the hope that the current dialogue between the two countries would lead to closer ties. The UAE-Iranian relations have entered a new era with the acceptance of President Khatami the invitation extended to him by President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to visit the UAE, commented Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper in its international edition. The acceptance of the invitation is the strongest signal as yet of the success of Sheikh Hamdan visit to Tehran, said the paper. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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