News ID: 113458
Publish Date : 17 March 2023 - 21:33
Iran’s Shamkhani, UAE Leaders Discuss Formation of Stronger Region

Neighboring Diplomacy

ABU DHABI (Dispatches) -- Iran’s top security official on Thursday held high-level talks in the United Arab Emirates, days after a shock rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, met with Emirati president Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the capital Abu Dhabi to discuss “opportunities for enhancing cooperation,” according to the official WAM news agency.
He also held talks with the UAE’s national security adviser, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and discussed “bilateral relations,” WAM said.
“Iran and the UAE can take great steps on the path of expanding bilateral cooperation and strengthening neighboring diplomacy,” Shamkhani said during his meeting with the UAE president, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency.
“The formation of a stronger region is an attainable ideal that we all must take steps towards.”
His trip came after Iran and Saudi Arabia announced a Chinese-brokered deal on Friday to end a seven-year rupture in diplomatic ties.
Shamkhani had travelled to Beijing for intensive negotiations with his Saudi counterpart ahead of the shock announcement.
During talks with his Emirati counterpart on Thursday, Shamkhani called his UAE visit “a meaningful beginning for the two countries to enter a new stage of political, economic and security relations,” according to IRNA.
“We should try to increase the security, peace and well-being of the people of the region through dialogue and interaction... while preventing foreigners from playing a non-constructive role,” Shamkhani said.
In 2016, the UAE and other Persian Gulf states scaled back their ties with Tehran after Iranians protested outside Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic missions in Iran following Riyadh’s execution of prominent Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
Despite the diplomatic downgrade, the oil-rich UAE maintained strong economic ties with Iran.
Last year, the UAE’s ambassador to Tehran resumed his duties after a six year absence, while in September, Iran’s top diplomat Hussein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran wanted to broaden relations with the UAE.
Gregory Brew, Iran analyst at Eurasia Group, said Shamkhani’s UAE visit is “significant in that it indicates continued efforts by the Persian Gulf countries to improve relations with Iran”.

“The UAE is a major trading partner to Iran, and has also become an important intermediary for Iran’s oil exports,” he told AFP, adding that Shamkhani may be discussing ways to access Iranian assets frozen overseas through UAE mediation or diplomatic support.
In his talks with Sheikh Khalifa, the Iranian official said most of the region’s problems are related to acts of mischief committed by the United States and the occupying regime of Israel.
“Endeavor towards the attainment of collective security based on indigenous capabilities can serve to end many of current crises,” he said.
Shamkhani said the Muslim world and the Persian Gulf region are in need of regional amity, cooperation, and convergence more than anything.
Shamkhani traveled to the UAE at the head of a delegation featuring top economic, banking, and security officials, for high-level talks with Emirati officials.
Sheikh Khalifa congratulated Tehran on its detente with Riyadh, which he praised as a “determining step” towards enhancement of synergy and convergence among regional countries.
Al Nahyan also hoped that Shamkhani’s visit would open “a new page in the relations between Iran and the Emirates.”
“The Emirates is very much interested in and ready for resolution of some instances of misunderstanding between the countries towards enhancement of the bilateral relations to their highest level,” he noted.