By staff and agency

Germany reiterates it will not take part in U.S.-led naval coalition

August 5, 2019

A German government spokeswoman said on Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel and the whole German government do not see Germany taking part in a U.S-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.

“The chancellor does not see a participation in a U.S-led mission in the current situation and at the current time - everyone in the German government agrees on that,” a government spokeswoman told a news conference, according to Reuters.

The U.S. has announced plans to form a Washington-led maritime force to supposedly secure the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, which hosts considerable international oil shipments.

During a press conference on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country “would not participate in the mission the United States plans to form.”

Madrid and Tokyo have also rejected an official request from Washington to participate in the naval coalition.

Spanish newspaper El Confidencial said on Thursday Madrid had received an official request from the United States to participate in these forces. However, the same sources said that “the Spanish government has currently no intention to participate in joint U.S.-led forces,” Middle East Monitor reported.

Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun also reported that Tokyo won’t send ships to join the U.S.-led maritime force.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been on the rise in the past several months.

On 4 July, Royal Marines were involved in the seizure of Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar, claiming that the ship was carrying oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. Iran called it an act of “piracy”.

Days later, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps seized British-flagged Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz.

Nathalie Tocci, special adviser to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, has said that the Europeans will opt for “dialogue” and “diplomacy” with Iran on the issue of security in the Persian Gulf region.

“So long as [Europeans] see a chance of freedom of navigation being secured through dialogue and diplomacy with Iran, they will opt for this route,” Politico quoted her as saying on Friday.

NA/PA
 

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