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UAE returns envoy to Iran, 6 years after diplomatic downgrade

Ambassador Saif Mohammed Al-Zaabi is set to resume his duties 'within days' of the announcement

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said yesterday that its Ambassador to Iran, Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, would return to Tehran "in the coming days", more than six years after the Gulf Arab state downgraded ties with the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported.

The move is in line with UAE efforts to strengthen relations with Iran "to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Last month, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, agreed with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amir Abdollahian, to return the Emirati ambassador to Tehran.

The UAE downgraded its ties with Iran after Saudi Arabia severed its relations with Tehran in January 2016. The move followed the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by Iranian protesters after Riyadh executed a prominent Shia cleric.

The UAE's announcement came days after Kuwait announced the appointment of its first ambassador to Iran since 2016.

READ: EU lays down 'final' text to resurrect Iran nuclear deal

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