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Saudi Arabia Urges UNSC to Take Decisive Measures on Yemen Derelict Oil Tanker

Saudi Arabia Urges UNSC to Take Decisive Measures on Yemen Derelict Oil Tanker

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 - 09:15
New York – Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday to take strong and decisive measures in dealing with the derelict oil tanker in Yemen, Safer, and to neutralize the threat it poses.

The Kingdom's Ambassador to the UN Abdullah al-Mouallimi voiced Saudi Arabia's appreciation for the UNSC holding a session to discuss the dangerous situation of Safer and the looming threats entailed on the marine environment and navigation in the Red Sea.

Al-Mouallimi pointed out to the danger of an explosion and an oil spill happening at Safer and how the tanker is positioned near Bab al-Mandab strait which is a vital trade route for Asia and Europe.

He called for an urgent solution that deals with the rundown tanker and said that the UNSC is responsible for securing the safety and security of the region.

Al-Mouallimi noted that an oil spill at Safer will be four times worse that the Exxon Valdez disaster which took place in Alaska in 1989. It could also lead to shutting down Yemen’s Hodeidah port for months on end which would in turn lead to a staggering shortage in fuel and basic commodities supplies for Yemenis.

More so, the fishing industry would be affected in the region and could take years to recover.

Marine life, beaches and shores in Yemen’s neighboring Saudi Kingdom would also be affected. Toxic gases emitted from a potential explosion in addition to an oil spill could harm acres of agricultural land in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

This could lead to the internal displacement of persons in affected agricultural areas.

Al-Mouallimi said that the Security Council had previously stressed in its resolution 2511 (2020) and its press statement issued on June 29 the necessity to confront the danger associated with this situation and warned of the dire consequences that may result if this matter remains unresolved.

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