January 30, 2020 / 8:17 PM / 21 days ago

France kickstarts European mission in the Strait of Hormuz

PARIS (Reuters) - France announced on Thursday the beginning of the European Maritime Awareness mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH), intended to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Gulf while promoting a de-escalation approach with Iran.

The French government has pushed for a European security alternative in the Strait of Hormuz after ruling out taking part in a U.S.-led coalition protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from what Washington says is a threat from Iran.

French frigate Courbet started patrolling in the Strait of Hormuz, French ministry of Armed Forces said on Thursday. It will be joined by a Dutch frigate in about two weeks, it added.

Reporting by Tangi Salaün; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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