x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE issues release on Iran comments

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs moves swiftly to distance itself from comments attributed to the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef al Otaiba.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved swiftly yesterday to distance itself from comments attributed to the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef al Otaiba. The assistant foreign minister for political affairs, Tareq al Haidan, said: "These statements came as part of general discussions held on the sidelines of an unofficial gathering and were taken out of their context in which Mr Otaiba was speaking," according to the state news agency, WAM.

"Iran is a neighbouring country and we maintain historic relations with it." The UAE, he said, "respects and believes in the sovereignty of other states and in the principle of non-interference, of all forms, in their internal affairs". He added: "Already, the UAE declared, more than one time and in official statements issued by the Foreign Ministry, its position on the Iranian nuclear issue. "The UAE totally rejects the use of force as a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and rather calls for a solution through political means that are based on the international legitimacy, transparency as well as the need for working, through the International Atomic Energy Agency, on the right of all states to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

"The UAE, at the same time, believes in the need of keeping the Gulf region free of nuclear weapons." * WAM