UAE Stresses Peaceful Nature of Iran’s N. Activities

A00769954.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – The United Arab Emirates’ Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Thursday reiterated his country’s firm stand against launching a military strike on Iran, underlining the peaceful drive of Iran’s nuclear programs.

“The UAE does not believe its neighbor is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons,” Shaikh Mohammad said, adding that he can see the promising signs of a near resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, and all countries must exert more efforts towards this end.

The remarks were made at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday, following a round of talks between the two leaders. Shaikh Mohammad said he and Merkel discussed various regional and international issues.

He pointed out that he reiterated the UAE’s stand on solving the Palestinian issue and establishing a Palestinian state, as well as the necessity of helping Lebanon and Iraq achieve peace.

The German Chancellor said she hoped Iran would respond to the positive signals from Europe, which is sure that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. She said that cooperation with Iran would lead to reaching an understanding.

Concerning Afghanistan, Shaikh Mohammad said the country was still suffering from the destruction of its infrastructure, while there were many foreign forces still on its land, especially NATO forces, and it needed serious and active efforts to achieve peace, stability and development.

Shaikh Mohammad said his visit to Germany will bolster bilateral ties and open avenues of cooperation especially in higher education, renewable energy and technology.

Merkel reiterated the keen interest of Germany to set up a real partnership with the UAE at the governmental and private sector levels.

This current partnership does not reflect the level of strategic relations the UAE and Germany share, Merkel said, adding that the two countries cooperated in the development of infrastructure and logistics, especially building airports and roads, while potential avenues of future cooperation include health, medicine, education, energy, transportation and others.

In reply to a question from Gulf News about the Dubai-Berlin route, Merkel said she hoped that Emirates airline would operate flights to Berlin in the near future, pointing out that the two countries were holding negotiations in this regard, but it would take time until the new Berlin Airport is opened.

Merkel said there was cooperation between Germany and the UAE in particular, and between the European Union and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in general in all fields, which must not be limited to economic cooperation but should include cultural, medical and educational cooperation.

She expressed hope that an agreement would be concluded between the EU and the PGCC to establish a common chamber of commerce.

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