UAE president accepts invitation to visit Iran

Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)

The President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan has accepted on Wednesday an invitation to visit Iran, the WAM state news agency said.

Tehran has tried to improve ties with Gulf states in recent weeks following its landmark nuclear deal in Geneva last month.

The Gulf countries along with the West suspect Tehran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons, allegations denied by Iran.

The invitation was delivered to the UAE leader by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a meeting between the two in a palace in al-Ain, in the east of the Emirates, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The date for the visit will be announced at a later stage,” WAM said.

Sheikh Khalifa told his guest that the UAE welcomes the nuclear deal, stressing that his nation aspires for “strengthened security and stability in the region and cooperation between countries,” he was quoted as saying by WAM.

Zarif is in the UAE as part of a Gulf tour in which he visited Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

He said Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rowhani wishes to strengthen relations with Gulf countries, “stressing that Iran gives high importance to its relations with neighbors, especially the UAE,” WAM reported.

During his visit to Kuwait on Sunday, Zarif reassured Gulf States that Tehran’s nuclear deal is in their interest.

The historic interim deal was reached last month between Iran Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.

It sees Iran curbing part of its nuclear program in exchange for some relief in sanctions.

Following the announcement, Gulf States cautiously welcomed the deal and have called on Tehran to fully cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in implementing the deal.

(With AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42