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Bahrain repeats UAE claims on Iranian islands in Persian Gulf

Riyadh, March 14, IRNA-Bahraini Foreign Minister Muhammad bin Mubarak al-Khalifa said said in Riyadh on Sunday that The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) backs the UAE in its claims over the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf.

Bahrain chairs the rotating presidency of the PGCC. He was speaking at the opening session of the 94th PGCC foreign ministerial council in Riyadh.

"The council wants Iran to answer to the UAE's requests and the international community for a peaceful resolution of the issue or alternatively for the case to be referred to the international courts," he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman in response to the claims which is put forth by the UAE form time to time has previously said the Iranian islands are not the issue.

"Only with respect to of them -Abu Mussa - there is a misunderstanding based on the 1971 agreement and it could be resolved," Asefi has said.

Iran has also brushed aside the "meddling of the third parties," saying it has not been and will not be helpful in this issue.

Iran believes that the issues outstanding between Iran the UAE need to be discussed bilaterally and could only be resolved through dialogue.

In December, Asefi reaffirmed Iran's 'undisputed' ownership of the trio islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf south of the country.

Speaking in reaction to latest claims by the UAE head of state, Asefi expressed hope that constructive dialogue between Iran and the UAE officials would result in promotion of mutual cooperation.

Asefi welcomed the UAE senior officials' willingness to settle misunderstandings through dialogue, saying continued 'positive and constructive' talks with the neighboring UAE at present juncture in an atmosphere of friendship and goodwill is the only way to settle the disputes.

He termed as 'positive' the atmosphere of bilateral ties, voicing pleasure over exchange of high-ranking delegations between the two sides.

Foreign ministers of PGCC in their meetings in Riyadh starting Sunday will discuss the three Iranian islands which are claimed by the UAE.

The foreign ministers of PGCC will also exchange views on the Middle East peace process, Iraq, Palestine, terrorism and ways to confront it, Secretary-general of the PGCC Abdulrahman al-Attiyah told reporters at PGCC headquarters, Riyadh.

The PGCC FMs will also put in discussion cooperation in electronics, transportation, culture, judiciary and municipality among the member states and economic relations with the European Union (EU), said al-Attiyeh.

The PGCC member states are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

... Payvand News - 3/14/05 ... --

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