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The Netherlands confirms its participation in the European operation in the Strait of Hormuz (v2)

(B2) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed this after the weekly government meeting. The Netherlands will participate in a European surveillance operation in the Strait of Hormuz for six months

The frigate Zs Ms de Ruyter in the Mediterranean as part of the NATO Maritime Group (SNMG2) returns to the South Seas as part of a French initiative (Credit: Marine NL)

A Dutch command frigate

« The command and air defense frigate Zr. Ms De Ruyter will leave for the Gulf region in January “says the government statement. This confirms our information published a few days ago (read:  The operation in the Strait of Hormuz resurfaces. The French at work). It will be equipped with an NH90 transport helicopter — equipped for surveillance such as medical evacuations — and reinforced with additional staff officers on board. The frigate will remain in the area until June, as part of a European maritime mission, set up at the initiative of France. After June, the government does not rule out extending the mission by sending another element (1) .

Surveillance mission in three areas

This mission, called EMASOH (European-Led mission Awareness Strait of Hormuz), will have an essential function of s » and will operate at the confluences of Iran. The objective is " to strengthen security » in an area (Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman) where “ tensions have risen sharply lately we say in The Hague. Read also: details of the European operation.

Vessel traffic: a key Dutch interest

For the Dutch Minister of Defence, this position is in line with the interests of the Netherlands, its shipowners and its economy: “ The Netherlands is a logistics hub and maritime trading country. […] Ensuring free and safe passage for maritime traffic in this area is therefore expressly in our interest » explains Ank Bijleveld-Schouten. Let us not forget, in fact, that one of the world's main oil companies, Shell, is Anglo-Dutch (2).

A withdrawal

This participation means that the Netherlands will withdraw its maritime contribution to the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) from February to June, the maritime component of NATO's peak force (VJTF) during the first half of 2020. Which, for a country as Atlanticist as the Netherlands, demonstrates a real commitment and a real feeling of threat, alongside the French.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Other operations

Confirmed participation for Sophia

Note that The Hague has also decided to send a ship as part of the European operation Sophia against trafficking in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR Med), if an agreement is reached for the resumption of the naval activity of the operation. The engagement was interrupted in early 2019 due to disagreement over the redistribution of captured drowning victims between EU member states.

…and possible Operation Takuba

The Dutch government is studying also the opportunity and feasibility of participating in a multinational mission in the Sahel", aka theTakuba operation, bringing together European special forces.

  1. Le Zr. Mrs. De Ruyter must return to its home port Den Helder before the end of June for already scheduled maintenance operations.
  2. To get an idea of ​​the strategic interest of the Strait of Hormuz: approximately 35% of the oil transported daily by sea passes there every day, which represents 20% of global oil demand (part of the oil being transported by land , of the oil pipeline type).

Updated on 30.11 in the morning to integrate the NATO dimension

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).