Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani met with senior Emirati officials on Wednesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, state news agency WAM reported.

The rare visit comes as Abu Dhabi moves to reduce tensions with rival Tehran.

WAM said Bagheri Kani met with the diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, Anwar Gargash, and Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs Khalifa Shaheen Almarar.

The discussions stressed the importance of strengthening relations "on the basis of good neighborliness and mutual respect", working for greater regional stability and prosperity and developing bilateral economic and commercial ties, WAM said.

The visit comes ahead of the expected resumption of talks between global powers and Iran in Vienna on Monday to try to revive a 2015 nuclear pact, which Gulf states have criticized for not addressing Tehran's ballistic missile program and regional proxies.

Gargash earlier this month said that the UAE was taking steps to de-escalate tensions with Iran.

Senior Iranian and Gulf officials told Reuters last week that a top UAE delegation would visit Tehran soon.

Gulf states, uncertain of the Biden administration's role in the region and seeking to avoid a return to heightened tensions of 2019 that saw attacks on tankers in Gulf waters and Saudi energy infrastructure, have moved to engage with Iran.

Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia also launched direct talks with Iran in April. Riyadh has described the talks as "cordial" but said they remained largely exploratory.

Report by Reuters

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