Pakistan condemns hijacking of UAE vessel by Houthi rebels

Pakistan has strongly criticised the hijacking of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vessel in Yemen and expressed solidarity with the Gulf state. "Pakistan strongly condemns the hijacking of UAE-flagged Cargo Vessel 'Rawabi' by the Houthis near the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen," the Foreign Office said in a statement on Wednesday. It further said, "Such blatant acts not only threaten the freedom of maritime navigation but also endanger international trade and security of the region," it added. "Pakistan expresses its solidarity with the UAE and calls for the immediate release of the vessel and its crew," the statement concluded. Also read: 11 crew from five countries held on ship hijacked by Yemen rebels On Monday, the Gulf country conveyed to the president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that the ship hijacked in the Red Sea had 11 crew on board from five countries. In a letter to the UNSC chief, UAE ambassador Lana Nusseibeh stated that seven of the crew were Indian and the others came from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. It denounced the "act of piracy" against the ship, which the Houthi rebels seized on January 2. The Iran-backed rebels say they seized Rawabi in Yemeni waters and have released video which they say shows military equipment on board. "This act of piracy is contrary to fundamental provisions of international law," said the letter, signed by the envoy and dated January 9. (With additional input from AFP)

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