By Gulsen Topcu
DOHA, Qatar (AA) - Qatar on Sunday called on all parties to exercise restraint amid the recent developments in the Strait of Hormuz.
“The state of Qatar stresses the need to urgently contain these events and as it expresses concern, it calls on all parties to exercise restraint and to work towards a peaceful exit,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a written statement.
On Friday, Iran said it had confiscated British tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway, in a move that followed Britain's July 4 seizure of an Iranian-flagged oil tanker off Gibraltar, a British overseas territory that abuts southern Spain.
Iranian authorities said the 30,000-ton British-flagged ship was taken to Iran for legal procedures.
On the Iranian tanker seizure, London said it was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Iran demanded the release of its crew and vessel, accusing the British Royal Navy of piracy and threatened London of retaliatory measures, rhetoric that is raising tensions between the two nations in a region already inflamed with war and brinkmanship with the west.
- Kuwait urges diplomatic efforts to be accelerated
Kuwait on Sunday also expressed "deep concern" over the increasing tension in the region.
According to the official KUNA News Agency, Kuwait called on international community “to accelerate diplomacy efforts” to soothe the tension.
The report, citing an anonymous Foreign Ministry official, also stressed the need for restraint and respect for the international maritime law.
Additionally, Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, called on the international community to take action against Iran’s seizure of the British ship.
"Any attack on freedom of navigation is a violation of international law," Al-Jubeir wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
He said Iran’s seizing British ship “completely unacceptable”.