2 Western countries join UAE probe into sabotage of ships

2 Western countries join UAE probe into sabotage of ships

On May 12, four commercial ships were subjected to "sabotage operations" near UAE territorial waters.



By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Thu 16 May 2019, 10:32 PM

The US and France are assisting the UAE in its investigations into the sabotage attack on four commercial cargo ships in the Sea of Oman, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash told a Press conference in Dubai on Wednesday.
He said the investigations will be concluded in a few days with the help of the partners.
Dr Gargash said Iran's behaviour has been in the centre of regional issues, however, UAE will avoid making false judgement and accusations.
Also read: 4 commercial ships subjected to 'sabotage operations' near UAE waters
"I think the UAE is witnessing a storm in the region but we are very committed to de-escalation and stability," Dr Gargash said. "It's in these times that we need to exercise caution and good judgement. It is easy to throw accusations but it is a difficult situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behaviour," the minister added.
"We are, with regards to the oil tanker issue, working with our partners. We haven't yet concluded our investigations. Clearly, I'm not going to jump the gun and say this and that. We are concluding the investigations within days, so I don't want to speculate on the famous question of 'who did it'?"
On May 12, four commercial ships were subjected to sabotage operations in the Sea of Oman, east of Fujairah. Saudi Arabia announced that two of its oil tankers were targeted in the attack.
Dr Gargash said Iran has displayed a "double speak" to the international community, especially when it attempts to downplay its "real intentions".
"I also have to say we are in this difficult situation to a large extent because of Iranian behaviour, which is the centre of various regional issues. We've always acted with restraint.
"We had been bullied by Iran earlier. The words of Iran's foreign minister are very hollow in that sense. The UAE has the most to gain in the region from a responsible Iran. It is in our interest to see a reasonable Iran, but we are yet to see a change," he said.
He said the Saudi-led military coalition will "retaliate hard" for any attacks by Yemen's Houthi movement on Saudi Arabia but remains committed to a UN-sponsored peace deal in the main port city of Hodeidah.
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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