US Proposes Mideast Naval Patrols; World’s Biggest Shipping Association Endorses Move

CNS News | 7/11/2019 | Staff
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( – Following attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf – blamed on Iran – a U.S. proposal to bring together a coalition to patrol the region’s two most important energy chokepoints has won the support of the world’s biggest association of ship owners.

“Anything that can help increase security in the region right now is something we back,” the specialist maritime publication Lloyds List quoted BIMCO maritime security head Jakob Larsen as saying Wednesday.

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“On everybody’s mind is the risk of a misunderstanding between different warships in the area,” Larsen said. “We all have to be cautious about a spark that could be ignited and that’s why any military protection or convoy scheme should be coordinated.”

Based in Denmark, BIMCO (formerly the Baltic and International Maritime Council) describes itself as “the world’s largest international shipping association,” representing around 60 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, measured by tonnage.

Chairman - Joint - Chiefs - Staff - Gen

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters in Arlington, Va. that the U.S. military was “engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el Mandeb.”

“I think probably over the next couple of weeks we’ll identify which nations have the political will to support that initiative and then we’ll work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities that’ll support that,” he said.

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Dunford indicated that while the U.S. would coordinate and provide “maritime domain awareness and surveillance” other countries would be expected to patrol and escort ships sailing under their flags.

Some 30 percent of the world’s crude oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway linking the Persian Gulf with the open sea. On Wednesday, U.S. officials said a Royal Navy warship foiled at...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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