Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb: Sovereignty

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 7 May 2024.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, if he will make it his policy to recognise Emirati sovereignty of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb.

Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, whether he has made an assessment of the legality of Iran’s military occupation of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb; and if he will raise that matter with his Gulf Cooperation Council partners.

Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, if he will make it his policy to assume responsibility for mediating Iran’s withdrawal from Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb.

Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, if he will publish (a) historic documents and (b) maps held by his Department that demonstrate that Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb fell under UK protection as part of the Trucial States up to 1971.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are not conducting freedom of navigation operations around these islands. However, we keep operations in the Gulf under constant review. The UK supports the United Arab Emirates' call to reach a peaceful solution to the dispute over the three islands - Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa - through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the rules of international law including the UN Charter.

The UK is dedicated to defending freedom of navigation in the Gulf, which is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, with the deployment of HMS DIAMOND in support of our current footprint in the region. We are proud to be partnering with other members of the international community to uphold the rules based approach.

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