Eight European countries, including France, are providing “political support” for the creation of a European maritime surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH). This was announced on Monday January 20 in a joint statement, released in France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
France, Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands, the countries participating in the naval mission to secure the Strait of Hormuz, received "political support" from Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Portugal. The eight countries are looking forward to " new commitments in the coming days ".
They explain their decision to participate in this joint naval mission by the current “ instability ” “ in an essential region ” for world peace. They recall that in 2019, increasing insecurity and instability resulted in numerous maritime and non-maritime incidents in the Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz. The direct consequences of an intensification of regional tensions.
The consensus of this operation is surveillance, information gathering, active deterrence, but it is not intervention, it is not escort for the moment. ..] The American positioning is aggressive: it is about putting maximum pressure on Iran. The European positioning is to ease tensions, to make the situation as easy as possible to avoid being in the shooting range.
Nicolas Gros-Verheyde, specialist journalist: "the objective of Europeans is to ease tensions" 20/01/2020 - by Oriane Verdier Listen
Instability with economic consequences
The press release issued by the Quai d'Orsay underlines " a situation which has affected freedom of navigation and the safety of European and foreign ships and crews for months ".
The situation is also compromising trade and energy supply, which is likely to have economic consequences worldwide.
In full compliance with international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, EMASOH will provide " in concrete terms increased knowledge and surveillance of the maritime situation, by deploying surveillance means additional maritime services in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea ”.
The deployment of the security mission
According to the French authorities, which have a naval base in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, a dozen European countries have expressed their interest in the mission, presented as complementary to the coalition created by the United States after attacks against tankers blamed on Iran by Washington and its allies.
In December, as part of this security mission , France had already announced the deployment of the frigate Courbet. In February, the Netherlands is to send a frigate and a helicopter to the Gulf, and a Danish warship will take over in the fall.
The press release from these eight European countries also specifies that the Arab Emirates will host the mission headquarters on their territory.