x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Arab body pushes talks on islands

The Arab Parliament has supported UAE's demand for a peaceful resolution to its stand-off with Iran over the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

The Arab Parliament yesterday reiterated its support for the UAE's demand for a peaceful resolution to its stand-off with Iran over the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs. Iran has occupied the islands since 1971. 

The group, meeting in Damascus before an international parliamentary conference scheduled for next month, called on Iran to enter direct negotiations with the UAE or to settle the dispute at the International Court of Justice, according to a statement published on WAM, the state news agency.

Members of the FNC are attending the meeting on behalf of the UAE. The countries at the meeting also agreed to include the issue of Somalia permanently on the agenda of future meetings. Somalia has been racked by an insurgency that has crippled any attempts at governance. In addition, a Foreign Affairs Committee report insisted that halting the building of settlements was a necessary condition for direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

It also called for a greater effort by Arab countries to resolve the dispute between Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian factions. The committee also began the process of promoting interparliamentary dialogue between Arab countries and Iran to resolve any "negative factors in Arab-Iran relations". 

kshaheen@thenational.ae