The United Arab Emirates has announced that it has taken serious steps to ease tension with Tehran, stressing its concern over Iranian behavior in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the President of the UAE, said in a speech before the Abu Dhabi Strategic Forum, that “the UAE is taking steps to de-escalate tension with Iran within the framework of a political option that supports diplomacy and avoids confrontation.”
He pointed out that his country “remains deeply concerned about Iran’s behavior in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.”
Gargash said, “Abu Dhabi is taking steps to calm down, as it has no interest in the confrontation that the whole region will pay for over the coming decades,” according to Reuters.
Gargash confirmed the start of reconciliation steps with Tehran, noting that the process would be slow, expressing his country’s hope that over time it would be possible to “build confidence between the two sides and start making progress towards a more sustainable and mutually beneficial situation.”
“The UAE is working to build bridges with all countries, including those that have serious differences with them,” he added.
Gargash pointed to his country’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel as an example of the UAE’s policy, as well as its recent measures regarding the crises in Ethiopia and Sudan.
The Emirati official said, “The UAE realizes that the US role is changing, but it is still vital,” adding that “the United States is still the UAE’s main security partner.”
This comes days after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Damascus, following the exchange of phone calls during the last period between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Assad.