UK to join US-led maritime security mission in Gulf

The new mission would be protecting the security of shipping. (UK MoD)
Updated 05 August 2019

UK to join US-led maritime security mission in Gulf

  • Decision follows Iran's seizure of a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, last month

LONDON: Britain said on Monday it was joining a US-led maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.
Last month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a British tanker, Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on Syria.
“We look forward to working alongside the US and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz,” Defense Minister Ben Wallace told reporters.
Foreign minister Dominic Raab said Britain remained committed to working with Iran to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal agreed with Tehran in return for an easing of sanctions.
A British security source said the focus of the new mission would be protecting the security of shipping and Britain would not be joining US sanctions against Iran.


Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

Updated 57 min 6 sec ago

Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

  • Saied garnered 2.7 million votes against one million received by his rival business tycoon Nabil Karoui in Sunday's runoff, the commission said

TUNIS: Tunisia's election commission said a preliminary count shows conservative law professor Kais Saied has won the country's presidential election by a significant margin.
The commission reported Monday that Saied, who hasn't held elected office before, received 72.71% of the vote. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui, got 27.29%.
The results confirm exit polls from Sunday's election.
Nabil Bafoun, head of the electoral commission, said "by looking at the result ... and knowing that it represents an absolute majority for this second round of the presidential elections, we, the Tunisian electoral commission, declare Mister Kais Saied winner of the presidential elections."
The commission said that Saied got a majority of the votes in each of the 33 electoral districts. He exceeded 90% in six traditionally very conservative southern districts.
The 61-year-old Saied is an independent outsider but has support from moderate party Ennahdha, which won Tunisia's parliamentary election last week.
He has promised to overhaul the country's governing structure to give more power to young people and local governments.
Karoui, 56, told supporters Sunday the race wasn't over because his legal team would explore options. He was arrested Aug. 23 in a corruption investigation and released with only two days left to campaign.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Saied for his election in a phone call Monday and wished him "success for Tunisia."
Macron stressed the Tunisian people's "democratic mobilization" over the past several weeks. He told Saied that he intends to pursue and enhance the partnership between the two countries.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi congratulated the Tunisian people and the elected president in a written statement.
If no legal action is taken to challenge the results, the electoral body is set to announce the definitive vote count on Thursday. Tunisia's parliament will then hold an extraordinary session during which the newly elected president will be sworn in and will formally start his five-year term.
The presidential vote was held early following the July death in office of President Beji Caid Essebsi.