Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE president. FILE PHOTO

UAE Working To De-Escalate Tensions With Iran, Senior Official Says


The United Arab Emirates is taking steps to de-escalate tensions with Iran as part of a policy choice towards diplomacy and away from confrontation, a UAE senior official said on Monday.

Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, said the Gulf state remains deeply concerned about Iran's behavior in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

"Despite this we have taken steps to de-escalate tensions as we have no interest in a confrontation. The whole region would pay the price of such a confrontation for decades to come," Gargash told the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate.

"I am realistic about the chances of success. It will be a slow process, but we hope that over time we can build together greater confidence between us and start to make progress towards a more sustainable and mutually beneficial status quo," he said.

Gulf states are closely watching talks between global powers and Iran to revive a 2015 nuclear pact. The UAE, along with neighbour Saudi Arabia, believe the deal was flawed for not addressing Iran's missile program and network of regional proxies.

Gargash said the UAE was working to build bridges with all countries, including those with which it has serious disagreements.

"We know that (the US) role is changing, but it is still a vital one," he said, adding that the United States remains the UAE's dominant security partner.

Report by Reuters

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