Britain: the formation of a European force to ensure navigation in the Strait of Hormuz News -

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Monday that his country would seek to form a European naval protection force in the Gulf after Iran seized a British oil tanker as it crossed the Strait of Hormuz, but at the same time stressed that London was not seeking confrontation with Iran.

"We will now seek to set up a European maritime protection mission to ensure the safe passage of crews and cargoes in this vital area," Hunt told British lawmakers. "We will seek to form this force, but it will not be part of the policy of American pressure on Iran," he said, describing the British vessel being held as a "state piracy act".

He confirmed that all British flag vessels will be required to give British authorities a notice of their planned passage in the Strait of Hormuz "to enable us to provide the best protection possible." "Of course, it is not possible for the Royal Navy to accompany every ship or eliminate all the dangers of piracy," he said.

London, Jeremy Hunt spricht im Parlament NEU (AFP / PRU)

Hunt raises the British idea in the House of Commons.

In the meantime, German Foreign Minister Haikou Mas revealed the existence of "close coordination" between Germany, France and Britain on the Iranian crisis. However, he did not address the European protection force. Mas said the three countries would not join the US strategy, saying: "We agreed to coordinate very closely in this regard."

"We do not want further escalation, but we have to keep in mind that there are incidents to be dealt with," he said, stressing the importance of continuing to gamble on diplomatic means, noting that at some point the Gulf states would have to talk about maritime security issues.

On Friday, Iran's Revolutionary Guard suspended the British-based oil tanker Stina Empiro in the Strait of Hormuz on the grounds that the tanker was not observed by international regulations. The British defense secretary described the incident as a "hostile act" by Iran.


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