Red Sea, Tajani: “Possible EU naval mission with France and Germany”

During a press conference the Foreign Minister spoke about the crisis in the Red Sea, underlining that “not only military but also diplomatic action is needed to protect our exports”

“In the Red Sea we are working so that alongside the Atalanta operation there can be a European military mission, the hypothesis is to expand the active one to Hormuz (the Agenor) to protect commercial traffic. It will be discussed on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council. Countries could also participate non-EU”. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said this at a press conference, adding that “with France and Germany we are formalizing a proposal to present to the other EU partners, but I am optimistic” hoping that the political decision will be taken already on Monday, so that the mission “can be operational as soon as possible”.

We need to protect our exports

“Ships in the Red Sea have no rules of engagement to attack but they have the right to defend and protect, even with the use of weapons, merchant ships if ever they are attacked”, explained the Foreign Minister, underlining that ” all our work in the Red Sea aims to defend marine traffic in the entire area, up to Suez. Thus a European military presence can defend European traffic.” Furthermore, Tajani pointed out that “we spoke about the Red Sea in the Council of Ministers: with Crosetto we made a report on the state of the art and our concerns. Not only military but also diplomatic action is needed to protect our exports”. And in any case “we are ready to go to Parliament to illustrate our actions on the Red Sea”.

Germany’s position

Berlin has confirmed that it is “ready”, with German Navy frigates, to participate in a European mission in the Red Sea. “The member states of the European Union are currently discussing the launch of an EU maritime operation in the Red Sea,” said a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, Christian Wagner, speaking at the government press conference on Wednesday in Berlin in answer the question of how Germany could participate in the mission. “Practically all representatives of the federal government have said that (…) we are ready to make a contribution and we want to do so. Of course, now it is a question of defining the specific organization of the mandate, and these talks are currently underway in Brussels” .