Tuesday 11 August 2020

Dutch will support Straits of Hormuz mission – as a European alliance

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

The Netherlands is only prepared to comply with an American request for help patrolling the Straits of Hormuz as part of a European effort, the Telegraaf said on Thursday.

The Dutch cabinet confirmed last month it is considering a request from the US to help protect shipping in the key Strait of Hormuz and in the Gulf of Oman.

Now, the Telegraaf says, ministers will agree to send one of six Dutch frigates to the protect the busy shipping route if the maritime mission involves other EU countries.

This, the paper says, is being seen as a compromise, which will avoid the Netherlands becoming stuck in a conflict between Iran and the US while at the same time showing support as a Nato ally.

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.

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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