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UAE leader welcomes Iranian foreign minister

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) – The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met with Iran’s visiting foreign minister yesterday in the latest sign of improving relations between Arab Gulf countries and the Islamic Republic.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian “discussed the importance of building on positive developments to benefit the people of the region and enhance regional stability and prosperity”, the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency reported.

Iranian state television said the two met for 90 minutes and discussed further cooperation in different fields. It said the Iranian foreign minister invited Sheikh Mohammed to visit Iran and that the UAE president invited Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi to visit the Emirates.

The meeting follows similar recent outreach by Saudi Arabia, which agreed to normalise relations with Iran for the first time in seven years in a deal brokered by China in March.

The two countries have since re-opened embassies and held high-level official visits.

UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan greets Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian at Shati Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. PHOTO: AP