UAE-Iran joint economic commission convenes for first time in 10 years

DUBAI (Reuters) - A rare United Arab Emirates-Iran joint economic commission will convene in Abu Dhabi from Tuesday to Wednesday, the Iranian Labour News Agency reported, as Tehran seeks to bolster economic ties with Gulf states amid mounting U.S. pressure.

This is the first meeting in 10 years for the bilateral joint economic cooperation commission, with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehdi Bazrpash and Emirati Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri in attendance.

The UAE downgraded its diplomatic ties with Iran after Riyadh severed its ties with Tehran in 2016 following the storming of the Saudi embassy in the Islamic Republic by hardline protesters over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

After years of animosity on different sides of geopolitical rivalries, the UAE started re-engaging with Tehran in 2019.

It resulted in upgraded diplomatic ties last year between Iran and the UAE, which has business and trade ties with Tehran stretching back more than a century, with Dubai emirate long being one of Iran's main links to the outside world.

The ministers are expected to mainly discuss cooperation in international trade corridors while private sector representatives will discuss trade and investment.

Iran imported $20.8 billion of goods from the UAE in its last fiscal year ending in March 2024, making the latter Iran's top source of imports according to the country's Customs body. In the same period, the UAE was Iran's top third export destination, with $6.6 billion worth of goods exported.

(This story has been refiled to correct the name of the Iranian minister in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)