Syrian vice president, United Arab Emirates officials meet

publisher: UPI

Publishing date: 1988-01-08

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam met Friday with senior officials of the United Arab Emirates in an effort to arrange a meeting of foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran, diplomatic sources said.

Khaddam held talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rashid Abdullah on ‘Arab issues, (Arabian) Gulf developments and bilateral ties,’ the Emirates News Agency said.

Khaddam arrived in Abu Dhabi from Bahrain Thursday night with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Sharaa as part of a diplomatic swing through the gulf that included stops at Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

Middle East analysts and diplomats said they believe the Syrian sweep through the vital seaway is aimed at trying to set up a meeting of foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran.

A GCC summit of heads of state in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last month ended with a final statement that clearly indicated the conservative Arab Arabian Gulf states will support efforts at the United Nations to impose an arms embargo against Iran’s radical Islamic government, unless it agrees to a cease-fire in the 7-year Iran-Iraq war.

Iran responded by saying it was willing to talk to an envoy from the GCC, which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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