Iran summons China envoy over dispute with UAE

Iran called in China’s ambassador after Beijing issued a controversial joint statement with Arab states dealing, among other things, with three disputed islands.


Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia on Friday, where he also sat down with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.


They issued a joint statement, which contained several clauses that directly dealt with Iranian affairs, its nuclear programme, and its regional activities.


The issue that prompted the rare summoning of the Chinese envoy was ownership of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa – three islands in the Strait of Hormuz that have been governed by Iran since 1971 and are claimed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of its territory.


The then-shah of Iran dispatched the royal navy to the three islands in 1971 after the British withdrew their armed forces from areas that are today the UAE. Emirati leaders have since maintained the islands belong to them, with support from other Arab states. Iran has dismissed these calls.




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