Eight EU nations back naval force to patrol Strait of Hormuz

Oil tankers pass through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. (Reuters)
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Updated 20 January 2020

Eight EU nations back naval force to patrol Strait of Hormuz

  • The EU initiative underscores the bloc’s goal of acting separately from the US, which launched its own operation alongside allies last November
  • France, Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands have already confirmed they will contribute to the patrols, which will be based in the United Arab Emirates

PARIS: The French foreign ministry said Monday that eight European Union nations had given their support for a new naval patrol to help avoid potential conflicts in the Strait of Hormuz, the strategically critical entry to the Gulf.
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal backed the new force, though the ministry did not say how many ships would be involved, or when they would begin operations.
The move comes amid escalating tensions in the region, especially between Iran and the United States, that have sparked attacks on tankers and other conflicts in a crucial zone for oil shipping.
“For months this situation has jeopardized freedom of navigation and the security of both European and foreign ships and crews,” the ministry said in a statement.
The EU initiative also underscores the bloc’s goal of acting separately from the US, which launched its own operation alongside allies last November to protect shipping in Gulf waters.
France and its European allies are hoping to distance themselves from US President Donald Trump in order to save the landmark 2015 deal curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program.
Trump abandoned the accord in 2018 and imposed economic sanctions against Iran, rekindling a smoldering conflict that led to strikes on cargo ships as well as Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
France, Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands have already confirmed they will contribute to the patrols, which will be based in the United Arab Emirates, and “new commitments” are expected in the coming days, the ministry said.


Yemen thanks UAE for evacuating students from China

Updated 16 min 52 sec ago

Yemen thanks UAE for evacuating students from China

  • Al-Hadrami has thanked the UAE for its “cooperation and help” in the evacuation process
  • The Yemeni students are temporarily staying in quarantine in the UAE

DUBAI: The Yemeni foreign ministry has thanked the UAE for its collaboration in the evacuation of Yemeni students in the Chinese city of Wuhan which had been at the outbreak of the coronavirus.  

The Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadrami has thanked the UAE on the minsitry’s official Twitter account for its “cooperation and help” in the evacuation process.

The tweet said the students were welcomed in the UAE and are temporarily staying in quarantine before they get cleared to return to Yemen.