The president of the United Arab Emirates met with Iran’s visiting foreign minister on Thursday in the latest sign of improving relations between Arab Gulf countries and the Islamic Republic.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have long harbored suspicions about Iran because of its nuclear program and support for militant groups across the region, and have cultivated close defense ties with the U.S. But in recent months they have charted a more independent path, reaching out to U.S. adversaries as Washington increasingly focuses on Russia and China.
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 TV 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.