Gulf incidents threaten to destabilize already volatile situation, UN chief warns

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 16, 2019
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UNITED NATIONS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is following with growing concern recent incidents and hardening rhetoric in the Gulf region, which "threaten to further destabilize an already volatile situation," a spokesman said Wednesday.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, said the UN chief condemned the recent attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and the drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Houthi rebels of Yemen have claimed responsibility for the latter.

Guterres said there should be an investigation to determine the perpetrators of the attacks on shipping and hold accountable the perpetrators.

"The secretary-general recalls that attacks targeting civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law," Dujarric told a regular briefing.

The secretary-general called upon all actors to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions, Dujarric said.

The U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees from Iraq and issued a travel advisory warning U.S. citizens against traveling to Iraq. The moves followed a recent buildup of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region.

When asked for comment, Dujarric repeated what he said earlier about threatening rhetoric and actions and added that the secretary-general "calls upon all actors to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions." Enditem

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