UAE urges swift solution in islands row with Iran

By REUTERS
April 16, 2012 18:17

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates, angered by the Iranian president's visit to a Gulf island both countries claim, warned on Monday that the dispute could not "go on forever" and urged Tehran to agree to talks or international arbitration.

Tensions rose last week following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Abu Musa, one of three Gulf islands also claimed by the UAE and located near important oil shipping channels at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

"We cannot have this matter going on forever," UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan told a news conference in Abu Dhabi.

"We have to have a clear agenda, a deadline for negotiations and if there is no outcome ... then we can either go to the International Court of Justice or to international arbitration."

The UAE has recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations, and also cancelled a friendly soccer match with Iran's national team set for Tuesday, in response to what its officials called a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty.


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