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Officials blast attacks on Saudi pump stations.

Summary: Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations Tuesday, calling them an attempt to "sabotage" Arab Gulf security.

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations Tuesday, calling them an attempt to "sabotage" Arab Gulf security. "We reaffirm our full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its leadership, government and people in the face of this act and the parties behind it, whoever they are," Hariri said, according to a statement from his office.

In a statement Tuesday carried by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that armed drones attacked two petroleum pumping stations supplying an oil pipeline running from its Eastern Province, causing a fire and minor damage.

Tuesday's attack came after four oil tankers were damaged Sunday off the coast of the UAE in what Gulf officials described as sabotage.

"This attack, which follows the targeting of oil tankers off the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, is a terrorist act condemned by all Arab, Islamic and international standards," Hariri added.

The attack against the four ships Sunday caused "significant damage," Falih said Monday.

Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab condemned what he said were "acts of sabotage."

He tweeted that the attacks "against the ships in the United Arab Emirates as well as [what happened] to the oil ships in Saudi Arabia are condemned and a dangerous escalation #Lebanon."

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea also condemned the attacks on the Saudi oil pumping stations in a statement carried Tuesday by the state-run National News Agency.

"Saudi Arabia has always stood by Lebanon's side, and it is our simplest duty to stand by it, its leadership's and people's side," he said.

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblatt described the targeting of the oil pump stations as a "terrorist attack."

"This condemned terrorist attack not only violates Saudi sovereignty ... but it also causes a danger and a threat" to the region, he said.

The Future Movement's parliamentary bloc said after Tuesday's attack that "any offense against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an offense to Lebanon's interests, economy, tourism and the livelihood of tens of thousands of Lebanese who work in the [Gulf] countries."

Earlier in the day, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry condemned the Sunday attack as an "inflammatory act," in a statement released Tuesday.

It also called on the U.N. to take action to "protect the safety, security and freedom" of the world's maritime traffic.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:May 15, 2019
Words:435
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