NEW YORK – On 15 May 2019, the Permanent Missions of the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom of Norway sent a joint letter to the United Nations Security Council, drawing attention to an incident in UAE territorial waters on 12 May 2019 that targeted four tankers – two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged, and one Emirati-flagged vessel.
“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, the Kingdom of 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.”
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.
“Fortunately, no members of the crew were injured. However, the Norwegian vessel was damaged. Emirati authorities are investigating the incident and Norway is assisting the investigation in accordance with established procedures for situations where Norwegian vessels are involved,” says Norway’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN 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.
“These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions”, underlined H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN. “The UAE is cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, and the United States to investigate these attacks.”
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.