U.N. chief urges Yemen's Houthis to grant access to decaying oil tanker

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Yemen's Houthi group 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

Reuters August 15, 2020 00:12:45 IST
U.N. chief urges Yemen's Houthis to grant access to decaying oil tanker

UN chief urges Yemens Houthis to grant access to decaying oil tanker

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Yemen's Houthi group 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 U.N. 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, U.N. 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 U.N. Security Council has also called on the Houthis to facilitate unconditional access as soon as possible.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.