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Iranian foreign minister holds talks with Emirati officials in sign of warming ties

  • Mideast Emirates Iran-1.jpg

    In this image released by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, left, meets with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/ WAM ) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Emirates Spain-2.jpg

    In this image released by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1st right, and Jose Garcia-Margalo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, left, sign a memorandum of understanding for cultural cooperation between the UAE and Spain as Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, 2nd right, and Juan Carlos, King of Spain are seen, on the side lines of the UAE - Spain Economic Forum. (AP Photo/Ryan Carter - Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi ) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Emirates Spain-3.jpg

    In this image released by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, right, talks with Juan Carlos, King of Spain on the sidelines of the UAE - Spain Economic Forum. (AP Photo/Ryan Carter - Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi ) (The Associated Press)

State media in the United Arab Emirates says Dubai's ruler has welcomed the Iranian foreign minister at his palace, a sign of warming ties between the two countries.

News agency WAM says Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations and regional developments Tuesday.

Sheik Mohammed is also prime minister and vice president of the UAE, an important U.S. ally.

Iran's official IRNA news agency says Zarif also met the Gulf federation's foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi. It is their third meeting since Zarif took office last year.

Iran and the UAE have longstanding trade ties but differ over several issues, including Tehran's control over three Persian Gulf islands claimed by both countries.