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'SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO SHIPS'

Khalid Al-Falih

Two Saudi tankers among vessels attacked near Fujairah

RIYADH, May 13, 2019

Two Saudi oil tankers were among vessels targeted by a "sabotage attack" off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE, Saudi Arabia has said.
 
Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih also confirmed that at 6am yesterday (May 12), two Saudi oil tankers were subjected to a sabotage attack in the exclusive economic zone of the UAE, off the coast of Fujairah, while on their way to cross into the Arabian Gulf, said a Saudi Press Agency report. 
 
One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the US. Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels, he was quoted as saying.
 
The minister denounced this attack that aims to undermine the freedom of maritime navigation, and the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world, the report said.
 
The Saudi minister also emphasised the joint responsibility of the international community to protect the safety of maritime navigation and the security of oil tankers, to mitigate against the adverse consequences of such incidents on energy markets, and the danger they pose to the global economy, it said.
 
An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed Saudi Arabia's condemnation of the acts of sabotage that targeted commercial and civilian vessels near the UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, towards the eastern coast near the Emirate of Fujairah and in the exclusive economic zone of the UAE, said a Saudi Press Agency report.
 
The source stressed that this criminal act poses a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime navigation, which reflects negatively on regional and international peace and security. It stressed the solidarity of Saudi Arabia with the UAE in all measures being taken to safeguard its security and interests.
 
The UAE had yesterday said that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not say who was behind the operation, which took place amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.
 
Meanwhile, Iran's foreign ministry called the incidents "worrisome and dreadful" and asked for an investigation into the matter. 
 
The strait, a vital global oil and gas shipping route, separates the Gulf states and Iran, which has been embroiled in an escalating war of words with the United States over sanctions and the US military's presence in the region.
 



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