UAE will not idle in face of Iran threats: Gargash

By Sheena Amos

ABU DHABI 13 November 2017: The UAE will not ‘stand by idly’ in the face of Iran’s threats to the region, and its ‘destabilising behaviour’,” said Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

“Iran’s efforts to provide active support for proxies in other countries, stoke sectarian tensions, and undermine the integrity of nation states, have gotten worse, not better,” he added in his keynote address at the opening session of the 4th Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, organised by the Emirates Policy Center.

He stressed that the UAE will not “remain idle under the shadow of such a threat”, praising US President Donald Trump administration’s “robust commitment to addressing the Iranian challenge”, and expressing the UAE’s support for Washington’s new approach, said Wam.

He also noted that Iran’s negative approach coincides with the dwindling role of extremist groups after the defeat of Daesh in Mosul and Al Qaeda in Yemen, and after drying up the Qatari support for terrorism.

“Al these factors will contribute to improving chances of arriving at political solutions to the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen,” he said.

Dr. Gargash stated that the UAE’s vision of achieving stability in the region, depends on “a strong and developing Saudi Arabi, and a stable and robust Egypt”, adding that the UAE has always been a “passionate advocate of evolutionary change” in the region.

“Now is the time for moderate Arab countries to come together to build momentum around a common, forward-looking agenda. One that values stability but that at the same time recognises the urgent need to improve the lot of fellow Arabs throughout the region,” Dr. Gargash said.

He listed five principles to guide the common approach he advocated: showing zero tolerance to extremists and their supporters; combining efforts to push back external interference in Arab affairs; promoting cooperation between sovereign Arab nation states; promoting political solutions over conflicts; and better aligning politics and economics in the region through prioritising good governance and economic development.