Saudi Arabia joins international maritime security alliance

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Saudi Arabia joined on Wednesday the International Maritime Security Construct - a US-led international alliance that aims to protect merchant ships and ensure freedom of maritime navigation and international trade, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an official source at the Ministry of Defense as saying.

"The Kingdom’s accession to the alliance comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade in order to secure freedom of navigation in the gulf amid heightened regional tensions," SPA reported.

The US formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that were widely blamed on Iran, as well as to address Iran's seizure of tankers in the region.

The alliance covers areas that include the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.

Bahrain joined the mission in the Arabian Gulf last month, joining Australia and the United Kingdom.

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