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Iran must understand the concern of Gulf States: Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 05/06/2006: 643 views

Riyadh - Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) considers Yemen as a vital project for the council.

Sheikh Abdullah, who is the Chairman of the current session of the GCC Ministerial Council, made the statement during a joint press conference with the GCC Secretary General, Abdul Rahman Al Atiyya, at the end of the 99th ministerial meeting held here in Riyadh. He said the meeting held at the GCC Secretariat with the Foreign Minister of Yemen was very important.

"The meeting was very important. It has led to the development of ideas. We need to thank the GCC Secretary General for his fruitful efforts on this issue. And just as we show great interest on the issue of Yemen, we hope our brothers in Yemen would also reciprocate that with similar intensity," Sheikh Abdullah said.

On the Iranian nuclear programme, the UAE Foreign Minister said the countries in the region are following closely Iran's nuclear programme. "Let's be frank. There is great environmental concern on the GCC side. We hope our Iranian brothers would understand this," he added.

He pointed out that international contacts were continuing with Iran on this nuclear programme. "But we in the GCC, our view towards the programme is that Iran should consider the geographical distance between the GCC States and the Iran," he said, adding that the Gulf is a semi-enclosed sea from which the Gulf countries get their water supply. It is through the Gulf water that these countries also cool-off their electricity plants and transport energy to various parts of the world. "Therefore, this sea is the main source of our water and electricity supply and economy.

So our brothers in Iran, whenever they hear the GCC expressing concern, need to understand our fears," he explained. He said the GCC supports any diplomatic solution that is based on dialogue between the two parties, especially when this party is an important one in the region like Iran.

The UAE Foreign Minister refused to comment on the Vienna meeting which agreed on special incentives for Iran by the Europeans and the US to convince the Islamic Republic to abandon its nuclear programme. "We can't comment on the Vienna meeting because the GCC is not aware of the incentives. When we get to know what the incentives are, then we would comment on them," he added. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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