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Greece joins US-led naval coalition to protect Red Sea shipping

December 21, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Brussels, Belgium on March 20, 2023 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Greece has announced that it is to join the United States-led naval coalition to protect global shipping in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthis in Yemen. The coalition aims to expand its growth and support.

In a televised statement today, Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias announced that, as a seafaring and shipping nation, Greece had a “fundamental interest” in addressing a “massive threat” to global maritime transport.

As a result, upon the orders of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek navy is sending a frigate to join the US-led coalition task force to “participate in the multinational operation ‘Prosperity Guardian’, for the protection of merchant ships, the lives of seafarers, the global economy.”

READ: Greece advises vessels to avoid Yemen’s waters

Since the start of Israel’s bombardment and assault on the Gaza Strip, the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen – which rules a significant portion of the country’s territory but is in opposition to the internationally-recognised Yemeni government – has launched numerous attacks on merchant ships over the past two months in an effort to prevent cargoes reaching or leaving Israel via the Red Sea.

In an effort to secure and provide protection to shipping passing through the major waterway, the US announced this week its launch of a naval coalition consisting of itself, Britain, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain.

Athens’ decision to join that coalition reportedly stems from its significant role in global shipping. Greek ship-owners control around 20 per cent of the world’s cargo vessels in terms of load capacity.

READ: Saudi, UAE divided over US efforts to counter Houthi Red Sea threat