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Ahmadinejad's visit to disputed island irks Lebanon

Lebanon,Diplomacy, Sun, 15 Apr 2012 IANS

Beirut, April 15 (IANS) Lebanon has criticised the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the disputed island of Abu Musa.


Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati Saturday discussed with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi the Iranian president's recent visit to the disputed island.


The prime minister told Roknabadi that Ahmadinejad's comments during that visit "inflame the ongoing conflict in the region, at a time when we require awareness to strengthen the calm and security that reflect positively on all countries of the region and contribute to their development", Xinhua reported.


On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad visited Iran-controlled Abu Musa island, a move that immediately sparked criticism from Arab countries and the recall of UAE's ambassador to Iran.


Mikati also expressed surprise at Ahmadinejad's comments about the predominance of Iranian civilization and culture throughout the ages, saying that "Arab civilisation has long spread its culture in the countries of the region".


Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) both claim territorial sovereignty over three Islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Gulf, and have been at odds over them for decades.


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