DUBAI, March 4 (Xinhua) -- United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikhd Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan received Monday a letter from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad in which the latter stressed common interests between the two Gulf states, local news agency WAM reported.
The letter was received by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's deputy prime minister and minister of presidential affairs, during a meeting with Mohammad Reza Fayad, Iranian Ambassador to the UAE.
WAM said the meeting revolved around the bilateral relations between the UAE and Iran, ways to enhance and develop the ties, " in addition to a number of matters in areas of common interest."
Relations between the UAE and Iran worsened in 2012 when Iran's president visited Abu Musa in April, a disputed island in the Gulf over which both the UAE and Iran claimed territorial sovereignty. Abu Dhabi recalled its ambassador to Tehran for consultations on April 12 and has not re-installed its embassy in the Islamic Republic since then.
The UAE and Iran both claimed territorial sovereignty over three Islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Gulf, and have been at odds over them for decades. The islands are currently under the control of the Islamic republic.
Tensions between the two Gulf states have also been on the rise, as the Arab Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, a key UAE ally, accuses Iran of meddling into its internal affairs by fueling unrest which broke out in the wake of the regional unrest in early 2011. Over 70 percent of the Bahraini population are Shia Muslims.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is based on a Shia'a cleric system, while the Bahraini ruling family Al-Chalifa belongs to the minority Sunni fraction.