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 yesterday, drawing attention to an incident in the UAE territorial waters on 12th May 2019, that targeted four tankers – two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged, and one Emirati-flagged vessel.
"These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions," underlined Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. "The UAE is cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, and the United States to investigate these attacks."
"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.
"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," says 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 Organisation of these attacks and the threat they pose to international shipping.