Maritime alliance of seven Red Sea states

Saudi Arabia and six other states bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden formed a maritime alliance on Wednesday to boost cooperation on security, economic and environmental issues.

The seven countries face challenges related to “smuggling, piracy, human trafficking, safety and security of navigation,” the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said after a meeting in Riyadh with his counterparts from Djibouti, Jordan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Egypt.

Environmental threats include habitat destruction, non-sustainable use of marine resources, the illegal disposal of pollutants and the rapid expansion of coastal tourism.

A unified approach would help the countries “take advantage of opportunities that exist in terms of enhanced trade, investment, and logistics in the Red Sea,” Al-Jubeir said.

Officials from the seven states will hold a technical-level meeting in Cairo to establish the organizational structure of the alliance.

“This is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to protect its interests and the interests of its neighbors, which will help to stabilize the region and ensure synergy between various countries,” Al-Jubeir said.

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