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Saudi Arabia urges world powers to secure waterways after twin attacks

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet urged world powers Tuesday for firm measures to secure shipping lanes across the region, state media reported, after last week’s twin attacks on tankers that escalated regional tensions.

The cabinet called for “decisive action to ensure the safety of navigation in the waterways of the region... in the face of threats to energy markets and the dangers to the global economy,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The request comes after the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, loaded with highly flammable methanol, came under attack last Thursday as it passed through the Gulf of Oman along with the Norwegian-operated Front Altair.

It was the second assault in a month in the strategic shipping lane. US President Donald Trump has said the operation had Iran “written all over it”, rejecting Tehran’s vehement denials.

In his first public comments since the attacks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Sunday he would not hesitate to tackle any threats to the Kingdom while holding Iran responsible for the twin attacks.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih also urged world powers on Monday to cooperate on keeping shipping lanes open for oil and other energy supplies, local media reported.