The United Arab Emirates (UAE) today called on Iran to either enter into serious, direct talks over three islands which it says are an integral part of UAE territory or refer the issue to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“Since the illegitimate occupation of these islands in 1971, the UAE has adopted a flexible diplomatic approach to resolve this matter through peaceful means, through direct bilateral negotiations, or by referring the matter to the International Court of Justice,” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan told the General Assembly.
“The actions taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran with the aim of changing the legal, physical and demographic situation of the islands are null and void and have no legal effect whatsoever,” he said, referring to Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands.
“Those Iranian actions also constitute a violation of international law, and the UN Charter. Therefore, the UAE demands of the Islamic Republic of Iran to enter into serious and direct negotiations between the two countries, or to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice in the light of its continuous illegal occupation of the three islands which are an integral part of the territorial sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates.”
The Foreign Minister also called piracy one of the major growing challenges of the 21st century, affecting global trade and commerce, and adverse impacting prosperity in the rest of the world.
He said the UAE plays a vital leading role in international efforts to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia, participating in the military efforts, with the UAE’s armed forces active in rescuing ships from pirate attacks.
It succeeded in April in freeing an Emirati ship, released the hostages, arrested the pirates, and prosecuted them, he added.