Saudi Aramco resumes pumping oil through pipeline hit by drone attack

Two pumping stations on Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline were hit in the early morning raid. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Saudi Aramco resumes pumping oil through pipeline hit by drone attack

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco resumed pumping oil Wednesday through a pipeline hit by a drone attacks the day before.

Two pumping stations on Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline were hit in the early morning raid,  which was initially claimed by Houthi militants in Yemen.

Saudi Aramco said oil was again pumping through the pipeline, which joins the Arabia Gulf and Red Sea coast lines, Al Arabiya reported.

On Wednesday, there was further international condemnation of what Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, described as “an act of terrorism and sabotage.”

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the attack “was not just wrong but undermines the trust needed to resolve the conflict,” referring to the situation in Yemen. 

 

France said the attack was an unacceptable act that threatened regional security.

“France strongly condemns the attacks carried out by drones against Saudi oil installations, claimed by the Houthis,”  a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

"France calls on all parties to refrain from any escalation likely to jeopardise the political process to bring an end to the Yemeni conflict," she added.

Pakistan also condemned the attack  and expressed "its full support against any threat to stability and security of the Kingdom.”


Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

Updated 46 min 14 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking after UK suspended issuing new licenses for weapons sales to the Kingdom in response to a court ruling
  • UK government disagrees with the judgement and will seek permission to appeal

LONDON: Halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia will only benefit Iran, Adel Al-Jubeir said Wednesday, after the British government announced it would suspend issuing new licenses for the sale of arms to the Kingdom.

The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced the decision in parliament after a court ordered the government to “reconsider” the sales because of their humanitarian impact in Yemen.

Fox said he disagreed with the judgement and would seek permission to appeal.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the deployment of weapons in Yemen was legitimate.

“The decision by the court in the UK has to do with procedures for licensing, not any wrongdoing that took place,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir told reporters in London.

“The coalition is an ally of the West and the coalition is fighting a legitimate war at the behest of a legitimate government to stop Iran and its proxies from taking over a strategically important country - so the only beneficiary of a cut-off of weapons to the coalition is going to be Iran.”

The court ruling does not halt Britain's arms exports but means the granting of new licences will be paused.

Leading British defence firm BAE Systems said it would continue to support the UK government “in providing equipment, support and training under government to government agreements between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia is part of the Arab coalition fighting to support the internationally recognized government in Yemen which was driven from the capital Sanaa in 2014 by Iran-backed militants.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 43 percent of Britain's global arms sales in the past decade, Reuters reported.

The legal action against the British government was brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

Meanwhilw, a State Department official said the US must stand with Saudi Arabia as a key security partner, when asked about the Thursday's court ruling in the UK.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper said both the US and Britain had long-standing bilateral ties to Saudi Arabia.
"They are carrying a significant amount of equity to protect US interests and US persons, and it is incumbent upon us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners, especially when they are on the front line for our interests," he said.

*With Reuters