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    Patrol craft USS Squall (PC 7) as it transits in the Gulf acting (File)

    Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Discuss Need to Boost Maritime Security in Region

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a phone conversation discussed the need to strengthen maritime security in the Persian Gulf region amid increasing tensions, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

    "The Secretary and the Crown Prince discussed heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security in order to promote freedom of navigation," Ortagus said on Wednesday.

    Tensions in the Gulf region have been on the rise over the past several months. In July, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz over alleged breach of international maritime regulations. The move came two weeks after Iran's own Grace 1 oil tanker had been seized by the Gibraltar and UK marines over alleged breach of EU anti-Syria sanctions.

    On Wednesday, the British Foreign Ministry said the UK joined the United States in a new international maritime security mission to guarantee safe passage of merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.


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