Obama discusses Iran, Syria with UAE crown prince
Washington: US President Barack Obama has discussed current volatile situation in Iran and Syria as well as global energy prices with UAE's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the White House said.
The two leaders discussed the ongoing negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme and the three Gulf islands whose sovereignty is disputed between the UAE and Iran, said a joint statement issued after the meeting held at the White House yesterday.
The UAE claims the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb under the terms of a 1971 agreement signed when Britain ended its colonial-era reign.
Iran rejects any UAE claim to the islands, saying they have always been part of its territory.
The two leaders also reviewed regional security issues including Iran, Syria, terrorism and energy security.
"They called upon Iran to meet its international obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and relevant UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors resolutions," the statement said.
Both the leaders expressed the urgent need to implement the Kofi Annan plan to prevent further bloodshed in Syria and their support for a transition plan that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
"Noting the profound changes taking place in other countries in the Middle East, they called on governments and citizens alike to avoid violence, advance tolerance, and protect human rights-particularly the rights of women."
Obama and the crown prince pledged to sustain the two countries' joint counter-terrorism and security initiatives in the region.
Discussing programmes to counter violent extremism and the ideological roots of terrorism, they welcomed the upcoming launch of the new Centre for Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi.
According to the joint statement, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strong bilateral defence cooperation to enhance regional security and deter any threat of aggression against the UAE.
On energy security, the UAE crown prince outlined the ongoing initiatives by the world's third biggest oil exporter to reduce price volatility and ensure reliable supplies to world markets at prices that support global economic growth.
Obama and the crown prince discussed the importance of protecting critical shipping lanes against threats of aggression, terrorism, and piracy.
"The President congratulated the Crown Prince on the announcement of the opening of a new 1.5 million (bpd) barrels per day oil pipeline that crosses the UAE, thus allowing energy supplies to bypass the Strait of Hormuz, and also expressed his appreciation for the UAE's efforts in the field of renewable energy," it said.