Dubai, June 16 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has called on world powers to help secure maritime traffic and energy supplies in the Gulf of Oman, following last week’s attacks on two tankers in the key shipping channel, the media reported on Sunday.
“The international community must cooperate to secure international navigation and access to energy,” the Khaleej Times quoted UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan as saying at a summit in Bulgaria on Saturday.
On June 13, two oil tankers — Front Altair, owned by shipping company Frontline Ltd. that is controlled by Norwegian-born magnate John Fredriksen, and the Panamanian-flagged Kokuka Courageous — were reportedly hit by unknown attackers in the Gulf of Oman.
The crew of the tankers of 44, including 11 Russian nationals, were transferred to the Iranian port city of Jask.
The US has blamed Iran for the attack.
Regarding a similar attack on four commercial vessels off the coast of the UAE in May, the Minister said a “state sponsor” was involved, but did not name any particular country.
“We haven’t named the state, but we hope that we can further work with our friends and partners in preventing such escalations from moving forward.
“We are in a complex region that has many resources, whether gas or oil, that are necessary for the world. We want the flow of said resources to remain safe, and to ensure the stability of the global economy. We must also secure our peoples and our economies,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
He added that there were some 184 oil and shipping vessels, among others, in the area where the first attacks took place last month.
The Minister said the area in which the incidents took place has vital economic and geo-political significance and that interruptions like the attacks can lead to impeding the global supply of oil.
“Real regional security and stability will only be attained when regional actors work together. Our region is the main energy supplier to the world; our safety and security is key to ensuring prosperity and stability for all,” the Khaleej Times quoted Sheikh Abdullah as saying.