Iran is moving to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and end a conflict with the United Arab Emirates over islands in the Persian Gulf after signing an agreement last month to end a deadlock over its nuclear program.
A convertible debt deal struck during the 2008 financial crisis led by billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi is set to trigger a contest for a slice of a $19 billion natural gas project.
During nine days of on-the-road diplomacy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s been lambasted by Israel’s prime minister over possible concessions to Iran and lectured by Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister about getting tougher with Syria.
Hagel, now in his ninth month leading the Pentagon, argued that Netanyahu’s threats of military action against Iran’s nuclear sites, combined with the pressure of sanctions, may have actually encouraged its leader to take negotiations seriously.
The United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said his country stands with Bahrain’s government, which for days has been facing popular protest, Khaleej Times reported.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Egypt’s army was “restoring democracy” after it toppled elected President Mohamed Mursi, then tempered his remarks and signaled a renewed U.S. diplomatic push to end the country’s political standoff.
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