‘World must act on Houthi piracy,’ warns OIC

Deema Al-Khudair
Wed, 2018-08-08 22:44

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on the global community to counter Houthi piracy and offer protection to international shipping in the Red Sea. OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen condemned recent Houthi attacks on two Saudi oil tankers in the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb, which he said “caused harm to the interests of all countries.”
Al-Othaimeen was speaking at a meeting of the permanent representatives of the 57 member states, held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Wednesday.
The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia to discuss the Houthi attacks on the Saudi oil tankers, and the militia’s “targeting of freedom of navigation and international trade.”
Oil shipments through the strait were temporarily suspended on July 25 after the failed terror attack on the tankers.
Much of Europe’s crude oil imports from the Middle East pass through the Red Sea, while essential refined products from Europe are sent to the Middle East and Asia through the strait.
Al-Othaimeen told the OIC meeting on Wednesday that the Houthis, “which did not hesitate to target Makkah, the holiest place on earth, also targeted two Saudi oil tankers in the Bab Al-Mandeb strait in a series of terrorist acts against the territory of Saudi Arabia and its interests and residents.”
He reaffirmed the OIC’s condemnation of the militias for targeting international shipping and promised “full solidarity” with Saudi Arabia in the face of terrorism.
The Kingdom’s measures to “preserve its security, stability and territorial integrity” had the full backing of the OIC, he said.
Al-Othaimeen reiterated the OIC’s support for UN efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen that would reinforce the legitimate state authorities and deliver more humanitarian and development assistance.
He also praised the support and aid provided by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and called on member states to continue to provide political, security, economic and financial support to the Yemeni government to aid reconstruction.
In a final communique, the OIC meeting said: “These heinous attacks are perpetrated amid similar terrorist operations by Iran-backed putschist Houthi militias against international maritime traffic and international trade. The laying of hundreds of naval mines is intended to cause damage to the interests of the countries of the region and the entire world, in total disregard for the possible disastrous environmental and economic repercussions of oil spills.”
The OIC urged the international community to condemn the attacks and counter “terrorist acts by the Yemeni militias and all those supporting and financing them” to ensure protection for international shipping.
It also called on the UN Security Council to implement resolutions to prevent the escalation of Houthi attacks, which increased regional tensions and the dangers of regional confrontation.
The council should “hold the Houthi militias and their Iranian sponsors accountable for countless crimes against international law,” the OIC said.
The meeting noted a recent UN panel’s report on Yemen that identified Iran’s supplying of Houthi militias with ballistic missiles and weapons as “a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions.”

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Source: Saudi Arabia

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