The UK has joined an international maritime security mission lead by the USA to secure trade routes in the Strait of Hormuz.
The UK will aim to protect maritime security in the Strait alongside the US navy, securing merchant vessels. The operation will use assets already present in the region to improve interstate maritime cooperation.
The UK will lead one of the Maritime Task Groups during the operation. The HMS Duncan and HMS Montrose will protect UK-flagged vessels and coordinate with other nations.
Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary said: “The UK is determined to ensure her shipping is protected from unlawful threats and for that reason we have today joined the new maritime security mission in the Gulf.”
“Upholding international maritime law and freedom of passage is in all our interests. We are seeing, across our seas and oceans, too many incidents that seek to challenge such freedoms. The UK is proud to be partnering with other members of the international community to uphold the rules based approach.”
“The deployment of Royal Navy assets is a sign of our commitment to our UK flagged vessels and we look forward to working alongside the US and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz.”
The Strait of Hormuz is the World’s busiest narrow shipping passage that sees around 20% of the oil used every year passing through it. The UK agreed to join the operation after a conference in Bahrain on the international response to reported security threats in the route.
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