Saudi Arabia joins US-led maritime military coalition

A jet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea this week. The US-led alliance aims to secure waterways for commercial shipping in the region. (US Navy)
Updated 20 September 2019

Saudi Arabia joins US-led maritime military coalition

  • The aim of this international alliance is to protect merchant ships through providing safe navigation
  • The operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it has joined a US-led military coalition to secure the Middle East's key waterways for shipping.

The coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, and the UK, was set up to counter threats to vessels after a string of attacks against ships entering and leaving the Arabian Gulf.

Known as the International Maritime Security Construct, the coalition aims to protect commercial ships and provide safe navigation. Its area of operation covers the Strait of Hormuz, Bab Al-Mandab Strait, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf.

"The Kingdom's accession to this international alliance comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade," a statement on the Saudi Press Agency said.

The decision comes amid heightened tensions with Iran after a drone and missile attack at the weekend hit two key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The US blamed Iran for that attack and also a a number of attacks on shipping in or near the Strait of Hormus in recent months. Iran also seized a British flagged oil tanker in July that it has still not released.


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 26 min 39 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)