UAE Backs Out Of U.S Led Maritime Coalition

Credit: kamran norollahi/Pexels

The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday it was no longer taking part in operations by a U.S.-led task force protecting Gulf shipping, which has been subjected to renewed tanker seizures by Iranian naval forces in recent weeks.

Lack Of Response

The UAE was responding to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday which, citing U.S. and Gulf sources, said the Gulf state was frustrated by the lack of U.S. response to recent tanker seizures by Iran. This was a “mischaracterisation” of conversations between the two countries, a UAE statement said. But it said it had stopped taking part in the Combined Maritime Forces, headquartered at the U.S. naval base in Bahrain, two months ago.

The UAE statement did not make clear why it had stopped participating or whether it would rejoin. It said only that the UAE was committed to dialogue and diplomatic engagement to advance regional security and stability, and also to ensuring navigation safety in its seas in accordance with international law.

Important Shipping Routes

The Gulf region contains some of the world’s most important shipping routes where, since 2019, there have been a series of attacks on vessels at times of tension between arch-adversaries Iran and the United States, a major security ally of Gulf Arab states. Five weeks ago, Iran seized two tankers within a week in Gulf waters near the Strait of Hormuz. The second tanker, the Niovi, had been traveling from Dubai in the Gulf toward the UAE’s Arabian Sea port of Fujairah. The CMF regularly reports intercepting drug smuggling in Gulf waters. Last week it established a new task force to train partner navies to enhance maritime security in the Middle East.

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Source: Reuters


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