Saudi Arabia, UAE, Norway notify UN Security Council of attacks on oil tankers

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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Norway have notified the United Nations Security Council about the act of sabotage carried out on the commercial vessels in the UAE’s territorial waters on May 12, 2019.

In a joint letter to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, the permanent representatives of the three countries in the United Nations drew the attention to the attack that targeted four tankers, raising tension in the region.

Two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged, and one Emirati-flagged vessel were targeted in the attack blamed on drones launched by the Houthis in Yemen.

“These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions,” Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, said in a statement released by the UAE’s official news agency Wam.

“The UAE is cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, and the United States to investigate these attacks,” the statement said.

“It is an act of sabotage that affects the safety of international navigation and the security of world oil supplies,” said Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN.

“Consequently, Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms these terrorist attacks and calls upon the international community to take a firm stand towards those responsible for such provocative and subversive operations,” Abdallah said in the statement.

While the attacks did not result in any casualties, or spillage of oil or harmful chemicals, they could have caused serious loss of life and an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Oman.

“We’re glad the crew onboard was unharmed. However, the Norwegian vessel suffered material damages. Norwegian authorities are in the process of assessing the situation, in close cooperation with among others the Emirati authorities,” said Norway’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Mona Juul.

The attacks took place within UAE territorial waters, east of the port of Fujairah. Operations at the Port of Fujairah have continued as normal without any interruption.

The UAE is taking all steps to protect commercial shipping and maritime traffic and has adopted enhanced maritime safety and security measures in the relevant areas.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Norway also intend to formally notify the International Maritime Organization of these attacks and the threat they pose to international shipping.