x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Parliamentarians condemn murder of Hamas official

The Arab Parliamentary Union has condemned the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai and called for international co-operation to arrest the 26 suspects.

Cairo // An Arab parliamentary body has condemned the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai and called for international co-operation to arrest the 26 suspects. "Israeli terrorist operations [are] an encroachment of the sovereignty of the UAE and violation of the international law," the Arab Parliamentary Union said yesterday in the closing statement of its annual meeting. "We support the Emirates' efforts to bring the criminals to justice, and stress that this criminal act requires co-operation on the part of concerned states to confront this gang and bring them to justice."

No one has claimed responsibility for the murder in January of al Mabhouh, a senior Hamas operative. Dubai Police have said they are nearly 100 per cent certain that it was the work of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. The parliamentary union renewed its support of the UAE's right to three islands seized by Iran in 1971. Abdul Aziz al Ghurair, the Speaker of the FNC, said this week that Iran "still ignores" calls to settle the dispute through direct negotiation or the International Court of Justice.

The FNC has been the country's leading advocate for the return of the islands. Its members have secured support for the UAE's position from several countries, including Russia, Turkey and Italy. Yesterday's statement by the parliamentary union urged Iran to "translate its desire to enhance relations with the Arab states by responding to the sincere and serious calls of the UAE to settle the dispute over the three Emirati islands".

Earlier this week, Mr al Ghurair delivered a speech in which he questioned the effectiveness of Arab parliaments, and urged members to be more active in shaping events that affect the people they represent. @Email:mhabboush@thenational.ae