UAE wants timetable for US pullout from Iraq


"We hope America will leave Iraq (in accordance with) a set timetable and that Iraq will be united," H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum told reporters accompanying him on a trip to Seoul.

Sheikh Mohammad, whose country is one of Washington’s close Gulf allies, said the UAE would be worried if Iran developed an atomic bomb, "but Iran says that (its controversial nuclear programme is designed to produce) only peaceful energy."

Sheikh Mohammed, who is also vice president of the UAE and ruler of the emirate of Dubai, said his two-day visit to South Korea reflected the balanced policy pursued by his government.

"We have a good relationship with Europe and with America," but the UAE, which is experiencing an economic boom, is also keen to strengthen links with the fast growing Asian economies, he said.

The visit to Seoul, which began on Monday, follows a US trip by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahayan during which a new US-UAE business coalition was launched.

"There is balance in the UAE," he added. Sheikh Mohammed met yesterday with South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, one year after the two countries signed a series of economic accords during a visit by Roh to the UAE, South Korea’s second largest crude oil supplier.


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