UN chief urges Yemen’s Houthis to grant access to decaying oil tanker

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Yemen’s Houthis to allow an assessment team to travel to FSO Safer. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 August 2020

UN chief urges Yemen’s Houthis to grant access to decaying oil tanker

  • More then a month ago Houthi officials said they would agree to allow a UN mission to conduct a technical assessment
  • The UN is still waiting for formal authorization

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Yemen’s Houthis to allow an assessment team to travel to a decaying oil tanker that is threatening to spill 1.1 million barrels of crude oil off the war-torn country’s coast.
More then a month ago Houthi officials said they would agree to allow a UN mission to conduct a technical assessment and whatever initial repairs might be feasible on the Safer tanker. But the United Nations is still waiting for formal authorization.
Guterres is “deeply concerned” about the condition of the oil tanker, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday. The United Nations has warned that the Safer could spill four times as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska.
“He specifically calls for granting independent technical experts unconditional access to the tanker to assess its condition and conduct any possible initial repairs,” Dujarric said. “This ... will provide crucial scientific evidence for next steps to be taken in order to avert catastrophe.”
The Safer tanker has been stranded off Yemen’s Red Sea oil terminal of Ras Issa for more than five years. The UN Security Council has also called on the Houthis to facilitate unconditional access as soon as possible.


Another Arab country expected to sign deal with Israel soon says US envoy

Updated 44 min 10 sec ago

Another Arab country expected to sign deal with Israel soon says US envoy

  • The US plans to bring more countries into the deal
  • Donald Trump told world leaders earlier this week that he ‘has never been more optimistic’ about the future of the Middle East.

DUBAI: Another Arab country is expected to sign a peace deal with Israel this week, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft told Al Arabiya on Wednesday.
The US ambassador’s comments came a week after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed a deal with Israel to normalize ties, known as the Abraham Accords. 
Craft explained that the US planned to bring more countries into the deal. 
“We will have more being announced very soon,” Craft said, claiming that one country would be signing a deal with Israel “in the next day or two.”
“I know others are going to be following,” the senior US diplomat said. 
Donald Trump told world leaders earlier this week that he “has never been more optimistic” about the future of the Middle East.
In his address to the UN General Assembly, the US president trumpeted his foreign policy achievements, particularly in the regions.