File photo shows the M/T BW Rhine, which was hit by an explosion at the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah in December 2020. Photo: Hogwood

Qatar Condemns Tanker Attack in Saudi Arabia

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December 15, 2020

By Simone Foxman (Bloomberg) —

Qatar, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, condemned the attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and warned of the impact it could have on international energy markets.

Doha considers the incident “an act of sabotage that violates all international norms and laws,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The announcement comes as Qatar and Saudi Arabia make progress on mending a diplomatic spat that’s divided the Gulf since 2017.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017 severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of bankrolling militant groups and undermining a regional bid to isolate Iran. Qatar has for decades given shelter to Islamist dissidents and at times assisted countries governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, but denies accusations it funds that group directly or supports terrorism.

While Doha only rarely comments about events in Saudi Arabia, the government did condemn the September 2019 strike on an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq and tanker attacks earlier that year.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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