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Tue 28 May 2019 08:43 AM

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Emir of Kuwait calls for GCC to 'be cautious'

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah emphasised national unity in turbulent times

Emir of Kuwait calls for GCC to 'be cautious'
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Recent political turbulence in the region means GCC countries need to “be cautious and ready to confront them”, the Emir of Kuwait said in a speech on Monday.

"The bitter reality of the region, its dangerous dimensions and consequences, and the developments taking place in the region calls upon us to realise the current situations and circumstances, be cautious and ready to confront them in order to protect the safety and security of our dear country," Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said in a speech on the occasion of the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Kuwaiti ruler emphasised the importance of national unity in protecting the country in this turbulent time, according to a report by the Kuwait News Agency.

Read the Emir’s full speech here

Earlier this month, countries across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area “commenced enhanced security patrols” in international waters around the region, according to a statement by the US Navy.

“Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations commenced enhanced security patrols across the region in international waters May 18, specifically increasing communication and coordination with each other in support of regional naval cooperation and maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf,” the Bahrain-based US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a post on its official Facebook page.

“As agreed to last week in a meeting at U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, ships of the GCC - both navies and coast guards - are working in tight coordination with each other and the United States Navy,” the statement added.

The announcements comes amidst heightened tensions between Iran and the US. Earlier this month, four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. This led the Lloyd's of London insurance firm to widen its list of areas in and around the Gulf posing "enhanced risk for marine insurers".

The latest events in the Arabian Sea come as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a warning that “heightened military activities” pose an “inadvertent risk” to commercial aircraft flying over the region.

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