JERUSALEM - Israel was to inaugurate a new international airport Monday in its desert south meant to boost tourism to the nearby Red Sea and serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport. The official ceremony was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. Initially Ramon Airport will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir. A date has not yet been given for the start of international flights. The new airport, named after Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut who died in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia, will in future host jumbo jets from around the globe. Its website says that it will be able to initially handle up to two million passengers annually, but will be able to expand to a capacity of 4.2 million by 2030. It says that it has a 3,600-meter-long runway and apron parking space for nine "large and wide-body aircraft". It also has freight-handling … [Read more...] about Israel to open new international airport near Red Sea
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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's president said on Monday Cairo was deeply concerned about security in the Red Sea following an attack by Yemen's Houthis on two oil tankers that forced Saudi Arabia to suspend crude shipments temporarily through the strait of Bab al-Mandab. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Yemeni counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi also said Cairo was committed to helping Yemen regain its security after more than three years of war that has killed thousands of people. "We categorically reject that Yemen would become a foothold for the influence of non-Arab forces, or a platform for security and stability threats against the brotherly Arab countries or freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait," Sisi said, speaking alongside President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Last month, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted oil shipments through Bab al-Mandab citing security concerns after Iran-aligned Yemen's Houthis attacked two oil tankers in the Red Sea … [Read more...] about Egypt voices concern over Red Sea security after Houthi attack
DUBAI (Reuters) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it has resumed all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb. Saudi Arabia halted temporarily oil shipments through the lane on July 25 after attacks on two oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement. A statement by the Energy Ministry said shipments had resumed on Saturday. "The decision to resume oil shipment through the strait of Bab al-Mandeb was made after the leadership of the coalition has taken necessary measures to protect the coalition states' ships," Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in the ministry statement. Saudi Aramco confirmed that shipping had resumed effective immediately. "The company is careful to continue monitoring and evaluating the current situation in coordination with the relevant bodies and take all necessary procedures to ensure safety," Aramco said in a statement. Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis in a three-year … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia resumes oil exports through Red Sea lane
By Stephen Kalin and Rania El Gamal RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway. To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait. That would risk deeper involvement in a war seen as a proxy battle for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran. THE YEMEN WAR The threat to shipping in Bab al-Mandeb has been building for some time, with the Houthis targeting Saudi tankers in at least two other attacks this year. It is not unusual to reevaluate security after … [Read more...] about Why is Saudi halting oil shipments through the Red Sea?
TOKYO (Reuters) - Brent crude led oil prices higher, extending gains into a third day after Saudi Arabia suspended crude shipments through a strategic Red Sea shipping lane and as data showed U.S. inventories fell to a 3-1/2 year low. Brent crude <LCOc1> futures had risen 66 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $74.59 a barrel by 0019 GMT, after gaining 0.7 percent on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude <CLc1> futures were up 22 cents at $69.52 a barrel, after climbing more than 1 percent in the previous session. Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, said on Thursday that it was "temporarily halting" all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb after an attack on two big oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement that the Houthis had attacked two Saudi Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) in the Red Sea on Wednesday morning, one of which sustained minimal damage. … [Read more...] about Oil rises after Saudi Arabia suspends shipments through Red Sea lane following attack