European "support" for Britain in its quest to form a protection force in the Strait of Hormuz News -

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France, Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark backed a European-led naval mission to ensure security of navigation across the Strait of Hormuz, a senior EU diplomat said on Tuesday (July 23, 2019) after Britain proposed the idea after Iran seized an oil tanker.

Diplomats said Britain had proposed the idea to senior EU diplomats during a meeting in Brussels, saying it would not include the EU, NATO or the United States directly. Spain, Sweden, Poland and Germany also showed interest in playing a role. One of the envoys said the task of protecting vital oil shipping corridors in the Middle East could be run by a joint French-British command.

For his part, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain said Tuesday that his country is working with Britain and Germany to form a "mission to follow up and monitor maritime security in the Gulf" after Iran detained a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

"We are currently working with the British and Germans on a European initiative to set up a mission to monitor and monitor maritime security in the Gulf," he told the National Assembly, calling for "a common security logic in the Gulf."

But the French minister did not specifically mention the European "maritime protection mission" in the Gulf, which his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt called Monday for its formation. However, he told the National Assembly, "We must implement a calm process to quell tensions" in the Gulf. "We are paying Iran today to return to the Vienna agreement, and I have just met with President Ruhani's special envoy to tell him that."

"The freedom of navigation in the Gulf is a major security challenge for Europeans, we want to work together to ensure it," France's defense minister said in a telephone interview on Sunday after a telephone conversation with her British counterpart Benny Mordon.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghji arrived in Paris with a written message from President Hassan Rowhani to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macaron, according to Tehran.

For many years, France has maintained a frigate permanently in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, and has about 650 military stationed in the United Arab Emirates.

H / H / A / H (AFP, Reuters)

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