UAE minister of foreign affairs speaks out about oil infrastructure attacks

In meetings in Cyprus and Bulgaria, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed spoke out against recent attacks on oil infrastructure

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperator, with Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperator, with Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation commented on recent attacks in the GCC while visiting Cyprus and Bulgaria.

The current regional developments need a lot of "wise heads across the region and the world to de-escalate the situation," he said at an event in Cyprus. He also noted that the evidence the UAE (among others) presented to the UN Security Council concludes that the attacks must have been “state-sponsored.”

Meanwhile, during a press conference in Bulgaria, he and Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs, discussed recent developments in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as well as the attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi militias that targeted the Kingdom's two pump stations on its East-West pipeline, and the Abha International Airport injuring several civilians.

"We are in a complex region that has many resources, whether gas or oil, that are necessary for the world. We want the flow of said resources to remain safe, and to ensure the stability of the global economy. We must also secure our peoples and our economies," he said.

"For us, the attacks on four oil tankers in the UAE's territorial waters are evidence that we, alongside our various partner countries, have identified as underwater explosions, utilising sophisticated technologies."

"These capabilities," he added, "are not present in illegal non-state actors or groups. These are disciplined processes carried out by a state. However, until now, there is insufficient evidence to point to a particular country."

He went on to note that the area in which the incidents took place has vital economic and geopolitical significance and that interruptions like the four attacks can lead to impeding the global supply of oil.

He explained that there were some 184 oil and shipping vessels, among others, in the area where the first attacks took place last month."This was a real threat to global maritime shipping," he warned.

"We must work together to spare the region from escalation, and give the voice of wisdom a chance.

"We have to work together to remove these tensions. We hoped that the efforts of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would succeed. The German foreign minister was present a few days ago in the region, and we remain hopeful in attaining a broader framework for cooperation with Iran."

"The P5+1 deal," His Highness added, "had two major flaws. The first being the lack of involvement with regional countries during the dialogue process. The second, not containing Iran's ballistic missiles capabilities, and its interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries."

"Real regional security and stability will only be attained when regional actors work together. Our region is the main energy supplier to the world; our safety and security is key to ensuring prosperity and stability for all," he affirmed.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2019

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