Yemen – UN – Launch of Safer salvage operation in the Red Sea (2 June 2023)


Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

France commends the launch of the operation to salvage the Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) Safer tanker, announced by the UN.

Given the threat of an environmental disaster posed by this supertanker in the Red Sea, France has contributed some €3.3 million to the UN’s salvage plan.

France supports UN efforts to carry out this project in the coming weeks. More than a million barrels of crude oil stored by the tanker since 2015 must be offloaded from the vessel.

France calls on the Houthis, who currently control the Safer, to cooperate fully on the implementation of this salvage plan.

France reiterates its support for efforts by Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, to reach a long-term, inclusive political settlement in Yemen.

Protecting the oceans and seas is one of France’s environmental diplomacy priorities, as President Macron reiterated at last year’s One Ocean Summit in Brest. With that in mind, on March 15, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs joined with the Minister of State for Marine Affairs to launch the UN Ocean Conference steering committee. France and Costa Rica will co-chair this conference, which will be held in 2025 in Nice.