Tags: UAE | Saudi | skirmish | seas

UAE Silent on Saudi Naval Gulf Skirmish

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 09:32 AM

DUBAI - Officials in the United Arab Emirates were silent this week after a report its navy exchanged shots with a military vessel from Saudi Arabia in contested Persian Gulf waters through which a natural gas pipeline runs.

A spokesman for the majority Abu Dhabi government-owned Dolphin Energy Ltd, which operates the pipeline, declined to comment on the report of the clash in the U.K.'s The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Sailors from Saudi Arabia were injured and taken into captivity in Abu Dhabi following the clash, the paper reported last week without saying where it got the information. The Saudi prisoners were later released to the kingdom's embassy in Abu Dhabi, the paper added.

Federal government officials in Abu Dhabi didn't respond to questions about the incident. An official at the Saudi embassy in Abu Dhabi declined to comment when called Monday. An official at the U.S. 5th Fleet, which has a presence in Bahrain, was unaware of any incident.

Saudi Arabia has historically disputed the U.A.E.'s territorial claim to the stretch of Persian Gulf that separates the emirates from Qatar.

In 2006, the Saudi government objected in writing to banks that financed the $3.5 billion Dolphin gas pipeline project, which links Qatar with the U.A.E., claiming that the kingdom hadn't approved its route through waters it claims.

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Wednesday, 31 March 2010 09:32 AM
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