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GCC chief condemns attack on oil tanker off Oman's coast

August 03, 2021
GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf has condemned the attack on an oil tanker off the Oman coast last week.
GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf has condemned the attack on an oil tanker off the Oman coast last week.

RIYADH — GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf has condemned the attack on an oil tanker off the Oman coast last week.

In a statement on Tuesday carried by the Kuwait News Agency, Al-Hajraf called on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards such attacks based on international law to secure the movement of trade and oil supplies, as well as preserve security and stability in the region.

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker 'Mercer Street' was attacked last Thursday in the Arabian Sea.

Meanwhile, Dr. Al-Hajraf, along with Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center Dr. Jehangir Khan reviewed, on Tuesday, efforts made by the GCC in combating terrorism and its financing.

A statement by the General Secretariat quoted Al-Hajraf affirming, during the meeting, the GCC's continuous support of the UN in combating crimes of terrorism and extremism and strengthening cooperation to achieve security and peace in the world.

Meanwhile, NATO has also "strongly condemned" the recent fatal attack on the MV Mercer Street vessel off the coast of Oman, expressing its condolences to Romania and the United Kingdom for the losses they suffered.

"Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO allies, and must be upheld in accordance with international law," acting NATO spokesperson Dylan White, said in a written statement on Tuesday.

"The United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania have concluded that Iran is highly likely responsible for this incident. Allies remain concerned by Iran's destabilizing actions in the region, and call on Tehran to respect its international obligations," he added.

A day earlier, Iran denied UK and US accusations that it was behind an attack on an Israel-managed petroleum product tanker off Omani territorial waters, saying it "strongly condemns" the accusations leveled by Washington and London.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has described the incident as an "unlawful and callous attack" he blamed on Iran, saying he believed the Islamic Republic orchestrated the assault. In comments of his own, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was "confident Iran conducted the attack," adding that an "appropriate response" was in the works.

A Briton and a Romanian were killed when the product tanker was attacked on Thursday off the coast of Oman. — SG


August 03, 2021
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