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UAE diplomat slams Iran, ‘external’ interference in Arab region at UNGA

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday slammed “external” interference in Arab affairs and called for countries in the region to be included in any nuclear deal talks with Iran.

“We can’t ignore Iran’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its interference in the region,” UAE Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar said during a speech at the UN General Assembly.

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“Any future agreement with Iran must address the shortcomings of the JCPOA and involve the countries of the region,” the Emirati diplomat added.

The US has been engaged in indirect talks with Iran since President Joe Biden became US president. But the talks have been stalled since the new Iranian government was elected.

Regional countries have been left out of the nuclear deal talks, similarly to the secret talks held between Washington and Tehran under the Obama administration, which led to the original JCPOA.

Al-Marar also called on Iran to end its occupation of the three UAE islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa.

As for the conflicts and wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, al-Marar said all foreign interventions needed to come to an end.

“Crude regional interference in Arab Affairs must be halted to end the cycle of conflicts in the Arab region successfully,” he said, in an apparent reference to mercenaries from regional countries, including Turkey.

In Yemen, the Emirati diplomat said there was an opportunity to reach a ceasefire and sustainable peace.

“We’ve seen genuine initiatives… the latest of which was presented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen. For these efforts to be successful, all parties must demonstrate commitment and determination,” al-Marar said.

But one of the main problems was that “the Houthi militias continue their provocative and aggressive actions,” he said.

The minister stressed the urgent need to strengthen security and stability in Afghanistan to fulfill the aspirations of its people, particularly women and youth, and to end the prolonged suffering in return for peace and prosperity.

Al-Marar also spoke of the need to end the occupation of all Palestinian and Arab territories, establish an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and stopping illegal practices.

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