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Vietnam calls for dialogue to address risks from decaying oil tanker off Yemen’s coast

Vietnam urges all parties to cooperate and dialogue to address differences regarding FSO Safer, the long-abandoned oil tanker moored off the coast of Yemen, 

said Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN during a UN Security Council meeting on June 3.

A meeting is held by the UN Security Council on June 3 to discuss issues regarding long-abandoned FSO Safer off the coast of Yemen. (Photo: VNA)

The meeting was attended by Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Having served as a floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility for oil, the ship has been abandoned near the Yemeni city of Houdaydah, which is under the control of Ansar Hallah militias, since 2015 and has not received maintenance for at least six years. The aging vessel is believed to be holding approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil.

In their briefing, the two UN officials warned about the likelihood of a devastating environmental disaster in the Red Sea and surrounding areas as well as a humanitarian crisis for tens of millions of people in the African country if an oil spill or explosion occurs.

In addition to economic loss, the incident may cause the ports in Houdaydah and Taiz to close, triggering price escalation which in turn can severely affect the locals’ livelihood, they said.

They also reported on the recent negotiation efforts, calling on Ansar Allah to soon allow the UN technical expert group to access FSO Safer and make emergency assessment and repairs.

Tra, for her part, also voiced concern over the issue, saying the UN expert group must have access to the ship without delay and with no time restrictions.

She also stressed the need to secure financial support for the group to perform its mission and called on all parties to stop hostile military activities and accept the UN proposal for a ceasefire in Yemen. They must work together to seek a sustainable solution to end conflicts in Yemen, she said.



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