The UAE and Iran yesterday began top-level talks in Tehran with issues of bilateral co-operation high on the agenda.
The UAE side was led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, while the Iranian delegation was headed by Vice-President Parviz Davoodi.
In remarks during the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed underlined the pillars of the UAE’s foreign policy, saying the country was committed to fostering cordial relations with friendly and sisterly countries. “My visit to Tehran comes within this context. Iran is a neighbouring and Muslim country with which we share common interests,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“Iran and the UAE have historical and strong relations, and with my trip bilateral ties will rise to new horizons.”
Sheikh Mohammed is the most senior Emirati official to visit Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iranian statistics put bilateral trade at $11.7 billion (Dh42.9bn) in the fiscal year ending in March 2007, with imports from the UAE forming the bulk of the exchanges at $9.2bn. Dubai serves as a hub for Iranian business and a crucial link to the world economy.
On his part, Davoodi welcomed the visit of Sheikh Mohammed and described it as historic. “This historic visit will open a new chapter in the already strong relations between Iran and the UAE,” said Davoodi.
The Iranian official also praised the government and the leadership of the UAE for what he described as its “wise stance vis-a-vis Iran, particularly on the issue of nuclear energy”.
Afterwards, Sheikh Mohammed said the talks with Iran’s vice-president was “fruitful and useful” for the two countries, especially on economic issues.
Sheikh Mohammed later told reporters his talks with Davoodi touched on a number of issues, including bilateral co-operation, regional stability in addition to the issue of Iranian nuclear energy, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes.
The talks were attended by Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and from the UAE side by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Earlier yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed was seen off at Dubai International Airport by Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and a number of senior officials.
Sheikh Mohammed holds talks with Ahmadinejad
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday held talks in Tehran with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The talks were held in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The two leaders discussed ways to bolster regional stability and peace.
“People and states of the region can be reassured that Iran’s nuclear programme is peaceful and Iran does not aim to make nuclear weapons,” said Ahmadinejad.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “Iran has said it does not have any bad intentions towards the Gulf, which respects the good neighbourly relations.” (Wam)
Bilateral ties set for new horizons