Names of 4 ships ‘sabotaged’ off Fujairah released

All is normal at the port

ABU DHABI 14 May 2019: The ship traffic is running its normal course at Port of Fujairah and work is proceeding as usual, official Emirates New Agency said, following a site tour of the strategic port yesterday.

It said it saw uninterrupted flow of loading and unloading operations across the port as well as the damage sustained by the four commercial ships that were targeted with sabotage operations off the coast of Fujairah near the country’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.

The four targeted ships are: Al Marzoqah; Amjad; Andrea Victory; and A Michel.

No oil spills or harmful materials have been reported across the entire area as a result of the sabotage operation, it said.

Maritime safety an international responsibility: Legal experts

International legal experts stated that ensuring international maritime safety is the collective responsibility of all countries while pointing out that international law criminalises any actions that negatively affect sea travel through straits, seas and oceans, and causes harm to individuals and groups.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan, Dean of the Law School at UAE University, UAEU, and international law specialist, said that protecting maritime navigation and guaranteeing freedom of movement for ships is the responsibility of the international community.

He also referred to the difference between territorial waters, marine economic zones and international waters, noting that territorial waters are located 12 nautical miles from the coast of a country, which has sovereign rights to the area, including control of fishing, navigation and shipping.

Economic Waters

Economic waters are located 200 nautical miles from the coast of a country, which can utilise all maritime resources in the area and protect its ships while international waters are located over 200 nautical miles from the coast, and all countries have equal rights to the area, he added.

One of the apparently sabotaged ships

All countries also have the legal right to investigate accidents and attacks within its regional or economic waters, as well as to ask relevant international authorities to undertake the necessary procedures, Dr. Hassan further added while confirming that countries are entitled to take legal action according to international law if their ships are attacked, regardless of the location of the incident.

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Dr. Mohamed Al Moussa, Assisting International Law Professor at the Law School of UAEU, pointed out that international law guarantees the freedom and safety of maritime navigation and punishes violators and attacking commercial ships is a crime according to international law.

OIC condemns attacks

JEDDAH: The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has strongly condemned the sabotage of commercial vessels near the territorial waters of the UAE in the Gulf of Oman.

In a statement, the OIC said that this sabotage action threatens the security and safety of international maritime traffic, calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to ensure maritime traffic and safety, and to ensure the stability of the security of the region.

Arab League condemns sabotage

CAIRO: The Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has condemned in the strongest terms the sabotage of four commercial vessels near the territorial waters of the UAE.

In a statement denouncing the incident, Aboul Gheit said that these criminal acts represent a serious violation of the freedom and safety of trade and maritime transport routes, and would raise the level of escalation in the region.

Fujairah Port

He also said that these threats to the land or sea borders, or the transport and trade routes of any member state of the Arab League, represent an unacceptable violation of Arab national security.

The Secretary-General expressed his full solidarity with the UAE against any attempt to undermine the security and safety of its navigation.

Saudi Arabia condemns acts of sabotage

JEDDAH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its condemnation of the acts of sabotage that targeted commercial and civilian vessels near the UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, off the coast of Fujairah.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia as saying that this criminal act poses a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime traffic, which reflects negatively on regional and international peace and security.

The source also expressed the solidarity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its stand alongside the UAE in all measures taken to safeguard its security and interests.

Kuwait condemns attacks on four ships

KUWAIT: Kuwait on Monday voiced its “strong condemnation” of sabotage acts that targeted four ships near the UAE’s territorial waters on Sunday, the state news agency, Kuna, said.

A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait branded the act as “criminal”, adding that it is seen as an escalation in the region; jeopardising its safety, as well as the safety of maritime traffic and the overall world oil trade and energy supplies.

“Such an act must be internationally encountered in a swift manner in order to limit its reoccurrence,” the source said in a statement.

Kuwait reaffirms its supportive stance with the UAE to secure its stability and maintain its sovereignty, the statement concluded.

Jordan denounces sabotage act

AMMAN: The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemned the sabotage of four commercial ships near UAE territorial waters off the coast of Fujairah, according to the country’s news agency, Petra.

It quoted Sufian Al-Qudah, the Ministry’s Spokesman, as affirming the country’s rejection of any criminal act that threatens the security and safety of maritime traffic.

He also said that Jordan stands with the UAE in confronting any attempt aimed at destabilising its security and stability.

Lebanon PM condemns attacks on 4 ships

BEIRUT: The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Al Hariri, has condemned the sabotage attacks targeting four ships near the UAE’s territorial waters.

According to Lebanon’s National News Agency, Al Hariri said in a statement that the incident is considered as “a dangerous threat to the safety of navigation in one of the most important waterways in the world.”

He added that these actions threaten the stability of the world economy through the international oil markets, in addition to being a direct attack on Arab brotherly countries and on the joint Arab security.

“We emphasise our full solidarity with the United Arab Emirates and all brotherly countries in the Arabian Gulf,” Al Hariri concluded.

Arab Parliament condemns sabotage

CAIRO: Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, Speaker of the Arab Parliament, has condemned the act of sabotage yesterday against four ships near the UAE’s territorial waters, off the coast of Fujairah.

In a statement denouncing the incident, Al-Salami said, “The targeting of commercial ships is a terrorist act and a serious threat to international peace and security, which requires immediate and decisive action of the international community to secure international trade and shipping lines and to hold accountable the perpetrators of this cowardly act of sabotage.”

He said that this “treacherous terrorist attack”, targeting the ships and their crews, was a flagrant violation of international laws and norms, which provide for the freedom of navigation on international waterways, adding that it would also have a negative impact on the free movement of international trade.

Dr. Al-Salami said that the Arab Parliament fully supported the United Arab Emirates in maintaining its security and stability and in all the measures it takes to protect its security and the safety of its citizens.

Algeria strongly condemns acts of sabotage

ALGIERS: Algeria strongly condemned Monday the acts of sabotage against four ships near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, UAE.

”We strongly condemn these acts of sabotage which yesterday targeted four ships near the UAE territorial waters,” the spokesman of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdelaziz Benali Cherif, was quoted by Algeria Press Service as saying.

He said these criminal acts threaten freedom and safety of marine navigation and transport.

Tunisia condemns sabotage of four commercial vessels

TUNIS: Tunisia has condemned the sabotage of four commercial vessels off the emirate of Fujairah, expressing support for the UAE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Monday.

According to the statement carried by Tunis Afrique Presse, Tunisia called on the international community to respond firmly to such acts aimed at disrupting maritime navigation, threatening its security and safety and fueling tension in the region, the statement added.

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Dubai Gazette