France committed to maritime security in the Gulf
Strait of Hormuz – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the Senate
Paris, 12 December 2019
The Strait of Hormuz is extremely strategic, both for the security of the Middle East and for the stability of international trade. In that region, as everywhere else, maritime law and freedom of movement must be respected.
France, which has a special responsibility due to its status as a permanent member of the Security Council, is therefore working towards de-escalation, through several initiatives. Firstly, France is promoting action that focuses on maritime security in the Gulf. At operational level, France is working on the establishment of a European maritime surveillance mission, in order to improve knowledge of the situation and therefore navigation conditions in the area. Its deployment should take shape soon.
Given the violations of safe navigation in the area, which is essential to the global economy, France is also sending firm messages. For example, since May 2019 it has condemned the sabotage targeting some oil tankers in the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. France also firmly condemned the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ seizure of the British ship Stena Impero, and closely followed the circumstances of its release.
On 23 September 2019, in a joint statement with the British Prime Minister and German Chancellor, the French President again called on Iran to refrain from all provocation or escalation. France, the UK and Germany condemned the attacks carried out against Saudi oil facilities on 14 September 2019 and said Iran bore responsibility for them.
France is committed at the highest level to finding the conditions for a de-escalation of tension in the region. Among other things, the President is in very regular contact with his American and Iranian counterparts to encourage the resumption of negotiations that will have to focus on every point of concern./.