CAIRO, 8th September, 2016 (WAM) — The Ministerial Council of the Arab League has reaffirmed the UAE’s “absolute sovereignty” to three islands occupied by Iran and expressed support to all peaceful measures being taken by the UAE to regain its sovereignty over its occupied islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.

At the end of the Arab League’s 146th session today, the Council issued a resolution, in which it condemned Iranian government’s step to perpetuate occupation of the islands and violation of the UAE sovereignty in a way that destabilises regional security and stability and threatens international peace and security.

The Council deplored Iran’s actions, including construction of settlements for Iranian citizens on the UAE’s three islands and conducting military exercises covering the islands, the territorial waters, the airspace, continental shelf and the economic region belonging to the three islands. The council emphasised that the islands are integral part of the UAE.

It asked Iran to stop such violations and provocative actions which are considered an interference in the internal affairs of an independent, sovereign state. It noted that such actions will never promote mutual trust as they threaten peace and security in the region, and expose the safety of territorial and international navigation in the Arabian Gulf to danger.

The Council also denounced Iran’s action of building two offices on the UAE’s Abu Musa Island, and asked Iran to immediately remove those illegal structures. They called upon Iran to end occupation of the UAE’s three islands, to refrain from attempting to impose a fait accompli situation and to remove all settlements, built on the islands with the aim of arbitrarily changing their demographic structure.

The Council denounced the inspection tour made by members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Consultative Assembly, of the occupied islands as a violation to UAE’s sovereignty over its territories and undermines efforts being made to reach a peaceful settlement to the issue.

The Council also hailed the initiatives of the United Arab Emirates and its efforts to find a peaceful and just settlement to resolve the issue of the three occupied islands with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Council expressed the hope that Iran will reconsider its stand on finding a peaceful solution to the issue of the UAE’s three occupied islands either by direct negotiations or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.

The Council called upon Iran to translate its desire to improve relations with Arab countries into sincere and solid action, and to respond to the calls of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the GCC countries, the Arab countries, the international groups and the UN Secretary General to resolve the issue of occupied islands peacefully.

It also stressed the need for the Arab countries to highlight the issue of UAE’s three occupied islands during their contacts with Iran, based on the fact that they are occupied Arab territories and to inform the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council to to keep the issue on the agenda until Iran ends its occupation and the UAE recovers its full sovereignty over the three islands.

It also urged the Arab League Secretary-General to follow the issue and present an update to the council in its next ordinary session.