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The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that its ambassador to Tehran would resume his duties in a few days, six years after the deterioration of ties in favor of Saudi Arabia.

Ambassador Saif Mohammed al-Zaabi “will return to his duties at the UAE Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the coming days to help advance bilateral relations”, the Emirati Foreign Ministry said in a statement. communicated.

The move aims to “achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region”, he added.

With shifting political alignments in the Middle East, UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash in mid-July called for an easing of regional tensions and signaled the ambassador’s possible return.

The United Arab Emirates cut ties with the Islamic republic in 2016, in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, after Iranian protesters attacked the kingdom’s diplomatic missions in Iran following Riyadh’s execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Other Gulf Arab countries, including Kuwait, have taken similar steps.

Iran said earlier this month that Kuwait had sent its first ambassador to Tehran since 2016.

In July, the Emirati and Iranian foreign ministers had a phone conversation and discussed strengthening ties, UAE state media reported at the time.

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates has previously said Gulf Arab states should engage in “collective diplomacy” to reach a deal with Iran, which is in talks with Western powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

On Tuesday, the European Union and the United States said they were studying Iran’s response to a “final” draft of such a deal.

In 2020, the UAE established diplomatic relations with Israel, a move Tehran condemned.

But Abu Dhabi has pursued a policy of rapprochement with former regional rivals including Qatar and Turkey as well as Iran, with which it had maintained strong economic ties despite the diplomatic downgrade.