Saudi Arabia provides 10 mln USD to address threats of oil tanker off Yemen coast

As a floating storage and offloading facility, the tanker has been anchored off Yemen's Red Sea coast for more than 30 years

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday a 10-million US dollar contribution to addressing the existing threats from the Safer oil tanker anchored off the coast of Yemen.

The oil tanker, which is near Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah, contains more than 1 million barrels of oil and has not been maintained since 2015.

The kingdom’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center said the potential oil spill resulting from further deterioration of the tanker could turn into a major environmental and navigational disaster that would cause widespread damage to the Red Sea coast, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi contribution aims to support the efforts of UN organizations to develop an effective plan to identify and address the potential threats posed by the tanker.

Saudi Arabia also calls on the international community to contribute urgently to support this initiative in order to prevent a serious environmental disaster from occurring.

As a floating storage and offloading facility, the tanker has been anchored off Yemen’s Red Sea coast for more than 30 years, but began to be left neglected when a civil war broke out between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia about seven years ago.

The United Nations has tried to send inspectors to assess the tanker’s condition or study ways to offload it, but the Houthis have denied the UN personnel access to the tanker, citing security reasons.

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