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The United Arab Emirates ambassador returns to Iran after a six-year absence

#United #Arab #Emirates #ambassador #returns #Iran #sixyear #absence

The United Arab Emirates said Sunday its ambassador to Tehran would resume work within days, six years after ties were downgraded in support of Saudi Arabia.

Ambassador Saif Mohammed al-Zaabi “will resume his duties at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the coming days to contribute to the further progress of bilateral relations,” the UAE’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The move aims to “achieve the common interests of the two countries and the region as a whole,” she added.

Amid shifting political directions in the Middle East, UAE Presidential Advisor Anwar Gargash called for an easing of regional tensions in mid-July and announced the ambassador’s possible return.

The United Arab Emirates scaled back ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016 in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after Iranian protesters attacked the kingdom’s diplomatic missions in Iran after Riyadh executed Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Other Arab Gulf countries, including Kuwait, took similar steps.

Iran said earlier this month that Kuwait had sent its first ambassador to Tehran since 2016.

In July, the UAE and Iranian foreign ministers held a phone call and discussed strengthening ties, UAE state media reported at the time.

The oil-rich UAE has previously said the Gulf Arab states should engage in “collective diplomacy” to reach a deal with Iran, which has been in talks with western powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

On Tuesday, the European Union and the United States said they would study Iran’s response to a “final” draft of such an agreement.

In 2020, the UAE established diplomatic ties with Israel, a move Tehran condemned.

However, Abu Dhabi has pursued a policy of rapprochement with former regional rivals, including Qatar and Turkey, as well as Iran, with which it had maintained strong economic ties despite the diplomatic downgrade.

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