European Maritime Surveillance Mission in the Strait of Hormuz – Political declaration by eight European countries (20.01.20)

In 2019, increasing insecurity and instability, which resulted in numerous maritime and non-maritime incidents, were observed in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the consequences of intensifying regional tensions. This situation has been undermining the freedom of navigation and the safety of European and foreign ships and crews for months. It also compromises trade and energy supply, which can have economic consequences around the world.

The recent events in the Middle East are of great concern as they are fueling tensions and increasing the risk of a possible large-scale conflict, which would have consequences throughout the region. The context calls for enhanced de-escalation initiatives to break the current trend.

Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal believing that the current situation in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz remains unstable in a region essential to global stability and supporting the de-escalation approach to regional security issues, provide political support for the creation of a European Maritime Surveillance Mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH). They welcome all the operational contributions already announced by Denmark, France, Greece, and the Netherlands in support of this effort and look forward to new commitments in the coming days.

Complementing the maritime security actions and initiatives underway in the region, in particular the International Maritime Security Construct, the objective of EMASOH is to guarantee a safe navigation environment and to ease current regional tensions.

In full compliance with international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the mission will provide concrete increased knowledge and surveillance of the maritime situation, through the deployment of additional maritime surveillance means in the region. Gulf and the Arabian Sea. We are grateful to the United Arab Emirates for offering to host the mission headquarters in their territory.

EMASOH will be a useful tool for preserving the freedom of navigation by ensuring the existence of appropriate coordination and information sharing mechanisms between all partners active in the field, in particular the maritime industry. In addition, EMASOH aims to encourage de-escalation and complement fundamental diplomatic efforts aimed at ensuring increased stability and open regional dialogue in a critical context.

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