At the recent Arabian Gulf Naval Commanders (GCC) conference in Abu Dahbi regional issues were discussed against a background understanding that the location of the Gulf creates a number of security challenges in the maritime domain, including the disruption of the flow of goods & services and piracy attacks, reports 'The National'.
Navy commanders pointed out that as globalisation and the importance of the sea for world trade increases, and as the region is a hub of international commerce, the security of oil supplies has become a common concern for nations. Consequently they urge states to protect their oceans and improve surveillance to anticipate crises and ensure national security.
Citing Rear Adm Antoine Beaussant, commander of the French forces in the Indian Ocean, 'The National' says that Gulf countries have realised what type of advantage they could draw from their cross-route position, using oil as a magnifier as they are placed at the centre of world trade traffic.
The conference also heard that Iranian midget submarines are an imminent threat to maritime security in the Arabian Gulf, prompting regional naval leaders to look for immediate options to counter such a threat.
Commodore Keith Blount, the UK maritime component commander and deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, was of the opinion that a GCC-wide committee to deal with maritime threats would mark important progress.
Source: The National