The UAE has joined the International Maritime Security Construct - a US-led international alliance that aims to protect merchant ships and ensure freedom of maritime navigation and international trade - Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Thursday.
The alliance is currently made up of the US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Its operation covers the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, WAM said.
WAM quoted It Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as saying the UAE joined the coalition to “ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.”
Saudi Arabia joined the same alliance on Wednesday.
The move comes amid tensions in the Arabian Gulf. Several oil tankers have been attacked in Gulf waters this year. Washington and Riyadh have blamed Iran for the explosive blasts, a charge Tehran denies.
Iranian authorities previously boasted that their forces can seize any ship, any time, even if accompanied by American or British forces.