France notes British decision to join US-led Gulf mission
Paris, 6 August 2019
Q. – Do you have any comment on Britain’s decision to join the US maritime security mission in the Gulf? Might France follow its allies in this mission?
THE DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON – France takes note of the British decision to join the international maritime security mission launched by the United States to protect its security interests in the immediate term.
It emphasizes that the freedom of navigation in the Gulf is crucial to regional security and world trade and calls on the Iranian authorities to promptly release the British vessel Stena Impero and its crew.
At the same time, we are continuing our discussions with our European partners, including the British, to find concrete, diplomatic, operational solutions to avoid escalation in the region and strengthen security conditions in the Gulf.
Politically, this will come about through our efforts to de-escalate tensions and bring Iran back into full compliance with its obligations under the Vienna agreement; diplomatically, through our discussions with our European partners, and in conjunction with our regional partners, to lay the groundwork for an inclusive regional dialogue on maritime security; and operationally, through our willingness to continue working on a European initiative to increase our knowledge of the maritime situation and facilitate the safe passage of ships in the region, using appropriate means./.