The governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal jointly support the creation of a European-led maritime surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz, according to an announcement from France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Rising insecurity and instability have been witnessed in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in 2019 with multiple maritime and non-maritime incidents as a result of growing regional tensions. This situation has been affecting the freedom of navigation and the security of European and non-European vessels and crews in the area for months. It has also been jeopardizing trade and energy supplies with potential worldwide economic consequences.
The Ministry announcement said that recent developments in the Middle East have fuelled tensions which increase the risk of a potential large-scale conflict with consequences in the whole region. It called for “enhanced de-escalation initiatives to stop the ongoing trend”.
Sharing the assessment that the current situation in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz remains unstable in a region critical to global stability, and supporting the de-escalation approach when it comes to dealing with regional security issues, the countries want to create a joint maritime surveillance mission.
In full accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the mission will provide enhanced maritime situation awareness and surveillance through the deployment of additional maritime surveillance assets in the Gulf and Arabian Sea. The United Arab Emirates has offered to host the mission HQ on their territory.