(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Denmark Backs European-led Naval Mission to Hormuz Strait
“The Danish government looks positively toward a possible contribution to such initiative,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement. “The initiative will have a strong European footprint”.
Britain has sought to assemble the mission in Hormuz, used by tankers carrying about a fifth of the world’s oil, following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged ship in what London said was an act of “state piracy”.
The initiative won initial support from Denmark, France and Italy, three senior diplomats said on Tuesday.
EU-member Denmark is among the world’s biggest seafaring nations and home to the world’s biggest container shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk, which sails in the high-tension area.
“The Royal Danish Navy is strong and capable and would be able to contribute actively and effectively to this type of engagement,” said Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen.
A final decision would still need to be discussed in parliament.
On Thursday, the UK government said it was offering British-flagged ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz a Royal Navy escort.
The Department for Transport said that if ships give advance notice of their plans they will be escorted by frigate HMS Montrose, either individually or in groups.
The escort is not compulsory, and Britain has limited naval resources in the region.
On Friday the Montrose arrived too late to prevent the tanker Stena Impero from being seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested Wednesday that Stena Impero could be released if the UK takes similar steps to hand back an Iranian oil tanker seized by the Royal Navy off Gibraltar earlier this month.