Iran News ...


5/23/04

Iran tells EU to keep out of Iranian islands' dispute

Tehran, May 23, IRNA -- Iran said Sunday it had told the European Union (EU) to stay out of a 'misunderstanding' between the country and the UAE over the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf.

The reaction came from Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi during a weekly news briefing here following a joint council and ministerial meeting held between the EU and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) in Brussels on Monday.

"Like in the past, we notified the European side that this issue has nothing to do with them and the misunderstanding between Iran and the UAE is resolvable through dialogue," he said.

Issuing a joint statement, the EU and the PGCC expressed 'concern at the lack of progress towards resolution of the territorial conflict between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran over Abu Musa and the Tunbs Islands'.

They also 'reiterated their support for a peaceful solution to the conflict in accordance with international law, either through direct negotiations or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice'.

Iran rejects referring the issue to the court, saying it is a case dismissed, which has been brought up once at the arbitration body and seen the two countries sign an MoU in 1971.

Iran also reiterates its 'total sovereignty' on the Greater and Lesser Tunbs as well as Abu Musa.

Asefi played down the joint meeting, saying 'this is not the first time that the European Union and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council raise up the issue of the three Iranian islands along with other subjects'.

The PGCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Ties between Iran and the UAE have seen remarkable improvement in recent years on the back of several exchange of high-ranking visits.

... Payvand News - 5/23/04 ... --



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