Tim Lenderking, the US Special Representative for Yemen, stated that his country is determined to see progress in the file of the Safer oil tanker, which has been anchored off the coast of Hodeidah for 7 years and warned that it could cause a major environmental disaster in the Red Sea.
Special Representative Lenderking’s statement was published on the Twitter account of the US Department of State’s Media Communications Office.
In his statement, Lenderking emphasized that they are pleased to continue their joint efforts with the Washington embassies of the Netherlands and Yemen to support the United Nations (UN) plan to rescue the oil tanker Safer.
Special Representative Lenderking stressed that his country is determined to see progress in this dossier to prevent humanitarian, economic and environmental disaster in the Red Sea.
Safer oil tanker issue
There is a risk of spilling 1.1 million barrels of oil from the Safer oil tanker, which has been in disrepair since 2015, off the coast of Hudeidah, Yemen, into the Red Sea.
The UN has long warned that the potential spill could be four times greater than the oil spilled into the sea in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.
David Grisley, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, warned of a “time bomb” for the Safer tanker, which is at risk of oil spills, on April 8, and stated on May 10 that it would cost 20 billion dollars to eliminate possible leaks in the oil tanker.
The Yemeni government also announced on September 22 that the UN had received sufficient commitment to rescue the dangerous oil tanker in the Red Sea and was pleased with it.
UN official Grisley stated on 16 November that the unloading of the oil tanker would begin at the beginning of 2023.
The Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen announced on November 19 that they had agreed with the UN to find a suitable vessel to unload the Safer oil tanker.