Need to agree on collective response to Saudi Arabia's oil facility attack, say UK, Germany

London, United KingdomUpdated: Sep 17, 2019, 08:09 PM IST
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Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. Photograph:(Reuters)

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British PM Johnson and German Chancellor Merkel stressed the 'importance of avoiding the further escalation of tensions in the region'.

Britain and Germany on Tuesday urged the international community to forge a "collective response" to the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil installations, which US officials have blamed on Iran.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the attacks during a telephone conversation, agreeing on "the need to work together, alongside international partners, to agree a collective response," according to Downing Street.

The weekend strikes on Abqaiq -- the world's largest processing plant -- and the Khurais oilfield have knocked out 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or six per cent of global production, sending prices soaring.

Washington has blamed Tehran, and President Donald Trump has said that the United States is ready to help Saudi Arabia, but will wait for a "definitive" determination on who was responsible.

Johnson and Merkel stressed the "importance of avoiding the further escalation of tensions in the region".

The weekend attacks have spiked tensions and prompted concerns about an escalation. Conflict in the Gulf region could put a large portion of global energy supplies at risk.