Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Anwar Gargash calls for UN action over Fujairah sabotage attacks

Preliminary investigation report presented to Security Council on Thursday indicated involvement of a 'state actor'

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash. AFP
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash. AFP

The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has called for the UN Security Council to act after a preliminary investigation report on the sabotage attacks off Fujairah showed that a "state actor" was most likely responsible.

The Security Council "must play its part in hold perpetrators accountable", Dr Anwar Gargash said in a tweet after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway revealed the initial findings from an joint investigation into the May 12 attacks on four oil tankers anchored off the northern emirate.

The report did not name a particular country as being responsible but top US officials have accused Iran of being behind the attacks, which came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran over the tightening of US sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

Dr Gargash said the UAE remained committed to working with its allies to reduce tensions in the region and ensure the security of shipping and global oil supplies.

A statement from the three countries' ambassadors to the UN said the attacks were "part of a sophisticated and co-ordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity, most likely a state actor”.

The investigation has so far found that the attacks were well planned, with the targets selected in advance, requiring intelligence capabilities. They were also designed to incapacitate the vessels without sinking them or detonating their cargoes, "indicating minute knowledge of the design of the targeted ships", the statement said.

Speaking to The National on Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he is attending the Globsec security conference, Dr Gargash said it was vital that a comprehensive investigation was carried out with the involvement of other states before responsibility was attributed.

“We have been very thorough in making sure friends and allies are part of this investigation, in making sure we don’t jump to conclusions, in making sure that our presentation is factual,” he said before the investigation report was released.

In view of the escalation in the region, wisdom and patience were required, Dr Gargash said.

“We clearly don’t want to see a war in our region that the whole region would pay dearly for."

Updated: June 7, 2019 11:46 AM

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