Tokyo: Saudi Arabia has called for a rapid response to secure energy supplies in the Gulf region after tensions soared following an attack on two oil tankers in a vital oil shipping route last week.
Al Jazeera quoted Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, on Saturday, as saying, “There must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat to energy supplies, market stability and consumer confidence after the attacks in the Gulf area.”
The US military released a video on Friday, saying it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers, Kokuka Courageous, hours after the suspected attacks.
“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” US President Donald Trump told Fox News on Friday.
“I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it,” he added.
However, Tehran has denied any role in the incidents and called the accusations “ridiculous” and “dangerous”.
“The international community must cooperate to secure international navigation and access to energy,” Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was quoted as saying at a summit in Bulgaria.
Oil prices have climbed since the two vessels – the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-owned Front Altair – were damaged on Thursday morning as they were leaving the Gulf of Oman.
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of energy ministers from the G20 group of nations in Japan, the Saudi state media quoted Khalid as saying, “The Kingdom is committed to ensuring the stability of global oil markets.”
Environment and energy ministers from G20 countries are meeting over the weekend in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa. Ministers will focus on energy security, low carbon energy sources, plastic waste, marine litter, and innovation in these areas.