'Deeply concerned about safety of 7 Indians on Houthi-seized ship'

United Nations: India has voiced deep concern over the safety of seven Indian nationals on a Houthi-seized United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo vessel, calling for the immediate release of the crew and the ship.

The vessel named Rwabee was seized by Yemen's Houthi rebels off the port of Hodeidah on January 2.

We are extremely concerned by the continued intensification of military operations in Yemen. The fierce clashes in Sana'a, Ma'rib, and Shabwa in the last few weeks are jeopardising the prospects of peace, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said.

Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on Yemen on Wednesday, Tirumurti voiced concern that the seizure and detention of the UAE vessel Rawabi' off the coast of Hudaydah earlier this month has further exacerbated the ongoing tensions.

We express our grave concern at this act, which has the potential to deeply compromise the maritime security in the region.

Seven Indian nationals are among the crew members onboard the ship and we are deeply concerned about their safety and well-being, Tirumurti said.

Urging the Houthis to immediately release the crew members and the vessel, Tirumurti said the Houthis also bear the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the crew members till their release.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that the Indian Government has been closely monitoring developments following the seizure of the UAE flagged ship Rwabee off the port of Hodeidah by the Houthis on January 2.

The government is in touch with the company operating the ship and has been informed that out of the 11 crew members onboard the ship, seven are from India.

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