July 26, 2018 / 12:51 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UAE calls Houthi attack on oil shipments totally irresponsible

(Adds comments on Hodeidah port)

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - An attack on Wednesday by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels on two oil tankers in the Red Sea was totally irresponsible, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said.

“This is a totally irresponsible act,” he told an audience in London on Thursday. “The effect of it actually is much wider than the region.”

He added: “I think this is another example of why the Houthi takeover of the Yemeni government in Sanaa should end.”

Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea, one of the most important trade routes for oil tankers heading from the Middle East to Europe.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states fighting to gain control of the Houthi-controlled main port of Hodeidah.

“The only way forward is to get Hodeidah,” Gargash said. “What we are planning to do is give diplomacy every possible chance to secure that.”

Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison

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