Iran foreign minister in UAE over Gulf tension

Last Updated: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 22:20

Abu Dhabi: Iran`s foreign minister held
talks on Sunday with top officials in the United Arab Emirates
amid tension between Gulf Arab states and Tehran over trouble
in Bahrain, Emirati state news agency said.

Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai,
received Ali Akbar Salehi in the capital Abu Dhabi, WAM said
of the previously unannounced visit.

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed
Al-Nahayan, who has criticised Iran`s policy in the region,
was present at the meeting, it said.

Sheikh Mohammed praised during the meeting the
"wisdom of the Bahraini leadership" in dealing with protests,
WAM said, adding that he highlighted the "distinguished links"
between Iran and the UAE.

Tension has been running high between Iran and its
Arab neighbours across the Gulf, with the two sides locked in
a war of words since Shiite-led protests against Bahrain`s
ruling Sunni dynasty broke out in mid-February.

Iran escalated its criticism of Sunni-ruled Gulf
countries after they sent troops into Bahrain to boost the
security forces of the government which cracked down on
demonstrators in mid-March.

Iranian media said that Salehi reiterated during
the talks his call for Gulf troops to be pulled out of Bahrain
and to respond to the "legitimate demands" of the Bahraini
people.

"The only solution for this crisis is a collective
effort based on a wise approach, which includes the exit of
foreign troops and giving appropriate response to the
legitimate demands of the Bahraini people with preserving
Bahrain`s sovereignty and independence," Salehi said.

"The entrance of foreign troops into Bahrain and
intervention in the internal affairs of this nation has made
the situation more complicated and continuation of this policy
will only lead to intensifying the crisis," Salehi said.

Last week, Salehi warned while in Qatar of "bad
repercussions" from the situation in Bahrain, where
authorities are accused of oppressing the Shiite majority.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 22:20

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