(B2) We thought the initiative had drowned. Launched by the Brits (1), seized upon by the Germans (2), without followup, it is now the turn of the French, with seemingly a little more determination
France as the initiator, together with other European countries
At the last ministerial Defence meeting, Tuesday (12 November), the french minister of the Army, Florence Parly, said so : there is a need to have a European operation in the « Arab-Persian Gulf » to ensure the security of the merchant ships against attacks. Present in the region, at Manama (Bahrein) this weekend, she reiterated this engagement : « France is working towards putting into place a European maritime monitoring mission. A few other European countries have confirmed their willingness to contribute ».
A mission to observe and diffuse the tensions
This mission is separate from the operation ‘Sentinel’, led by the Americans, with the participation of the Brits (and the Albanians). It could start in January. The HQ of the mission would be at Abu Dhabi, as the minister confirmed during her visit in the capital city of the UAE. The objective of the mission, in the word of the French minister of Defence : observe, « help to establish the facts, ensure a presence and, mostly, diffuse tensions ».
Dutch participation is confirmed
« A ship from the Dutch navy should be deployed there during six months » confirmed the Dutch news agency ANP. The government should therefore give its green light to participate in the operation on Friday (29 November). For the Netherlands, it is mainly about observation. The estimated cost of deployment for the country : between 10 and 15 million euros.
Ten countries participating?
In addition to the Netherlands, Denmark has also promised to participate. The French hope that in total ten countries will join the mission in the Persian Gulf. On the German side, there seems to be some doubt, if our colleague T. Wiegold of Augengeradeaus is to be believed. The german minister of Defence « settled for saying that no information was available on the tangible form of the french initiative », even if it benefits from a « political support » in Berlin.