Tuesday 20 August 2019

Dutch consider US request to join Strait of Hormuz security effort

One of six Dutch navy frigates. Photo: Defensie.nl

The Dutch cabinet is considering a request from the US to help protect shipping in the key Strait of Hormuz and in the Gulf of Oman, the foreign and defence ministers have told MPs.

The US first asked its Nato partners to join the international alliance last month and made a formal request on July 9, foreign minister Stef Blok and defence minister Ank Bijleveld said in short a briefing.

Tensions have been rising in the straits after a string of attacks on oil tankers.

The US has also asked the Netherlands to take part in a mission in the north of Syria and, insiders say, it may be easier for the Dutch to decline this request if they agree to the naval role.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is visiting US president Donald Trump later this month when both requests are likely to come up for discussion.

All requests for military assistance by the Dutch must be fully assessed by parliament under legislation brought in following the Srebrenica massacre.

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