Will Visit UAE on Wednesday
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today appealed to Saudi Arabia to work with Tehran toward achieving regional stability.
“We believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region,” Zarif said. “I believe that our relations with Saudi Arabia should expand as we consider Saudi Arabia an extremely important country in the region and the Islamic world.” (AFP/Daily Star, 2 December)
Zarif made the comments while in Doha in the last leg of a three-country tour of Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. Zarif’s current tour is part of the new Iranian government’s charm offensive to improve relations with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, as well as the West.
“I am ready to go to Saudi Arabia, but it is just a matter of being able to arrange a mutually convenient time. I will visit it soon inshallah,” Zarif said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Press TV reported tonight that Zarif will visit the UAE on Wednesday. The visit is to improve the restrained relations between the two countries. During his one-day official visit to Abu Dhabi, Zarif will hold meetings with Sheikh Khalifa, the President; Sheikh Mohammed, the Prime Minister; and Sheikh Abdullah, the Foreign Minister of UAE.
The contentious issue in Iran-UAE relations is the fate of the three islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs, claimed by both countries. Iran’s announcement that Zarif would visit the UAE on such a short notice could signal the readiness of both sides to resolve their disputes over the islands.
Photo credit: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during a news conference at the Iranian embassy in Muscat. 2 December 2013 (Mohammad Mahjoub/AFP)