Iran and the United Arab Emirates agreed on Tuesday to strengthen mutual diplomatic ties and ensure the security of Gulf waters.
This came during a meeting between Iranian Border Guard Command Brigadier, General Qasem Rezaei and the UAE Coast Guard commander Brigadier General Mohammed Ali Musleh Al-Ahbabi.
The meeting, which was held in Iran, “discussed ways to expand diplomatic relations and strengthen border security between the two countries.”
Rezaei welcomed the Emirati delegation, saying: “We have already established historic relations at various levels and fields with the UAE, and these relations are continuing today between investors and fishermen.”
He stated that his country is facing on the Iranian border areas terrorist groups, stressing that “smuggling is a major dilemma for the border forces in both countries.”
Rezaei said: “This meeting would be a breakthrough to achieve a high-security level and upgrading bilateral relations between both countries that contribute to the sustainable security of the Iranian and the Emirati peoples.”
Rezaei went on, “the strategic Gulf region and the Sea of Oman should be restored by their peoples and not allow other countries to harm our regional security.”
He added: “Through the promotion of bilateral cooperation, we can hold two annual meetings, in Tehran and Abu Dhabi, as well as field meetings in the border areas between the leaders of the two countries to contain border problems and work to resolve them.”
In turn, Al-Ahbabi welcomed the development of border relations between the two countries, according to IRNA.
IRNA quoted Al-Ahbabi as saying: “Iran is a pioneer in countering drug trafficking, and we, as the UAE Coast Guard, value its actions in this regard.”
He stressed “the need to improve the level of border cooperation, and continue joint actions and sustainable coordination in order to secure trade and maritime navigation.”
The UAE commander continued: “The intervention of some countries in international shipping lines raises issues in the region, which calls for upgrading relations to establish security in the Gulf and the Sea of Oman.”
There was no comment from the UAE side about the meeting until.
The UAE-Iran relations have been unstable due to a dispute over the three islands: Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which Abu Dhabi accuses Tehran of occupying.
Tensions between the two countries have been aggravated by the five-year- conflict between government forces, backed by the Arab alliance, which the UAE is a member of, despite its partial withdrawal recently, as well as the Houthi movement which fighters Iran is accused of supporting.
Tensions have also increased over Iran’s alleged accusation of targeting or inciting other groups to attack oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, which Tehran denies.
In May, the UAE announced that four commercial cargo ships had been exposed to sabotage operations off the port of Fujairah.
Iran has denied US accusations of being responsible for the offence.