Date: Tuesday, 13 June 2023
The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with the Eritrean government regarding the release of two tug boats owned by Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) that are currently detained in a harbor in Eritrea.
The tug boats, designed and built in Egypt, were on their way to the Maldives when they were forced to berth at the Eritrean harbor due to stormy weather on April 26. However, the Eritrean authorities detained the boats, alleging that they had entered the harbor without the necessary permits.
Although the crew members of the tug boats have returned to the Maldives, Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) has encountered challenges in transporting the vessels back to the Maldives and added that the company's officials are unable to visit Eritrea to resolve the issue.
A media official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had launched discussions with Eritrean government through diplomatic channels.
The two vessels that are currently detained in Eritrea were part of a larger commission by Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) to expand its fleet. FSM had commissioned a total of four vessels in 2019 to enhance its operations.