Germany mulls joining European Persian Gulf naval mission

Pressure is growing on the German government to lend its military weight to a potential European naval mission in the Persian Gulf. The UK government floated the idea of a joint European operation last Monday.

Wolfgang Ischinger, former German ambassador to the US and now head of the Munich Security Conference, on Sunday added his voice to calls for more German military engagement in the Persian Gulf.

There is an ongoing standoff over shipping rights between Iran and the UK, with both countries seizing oil tankers in the region. Last Monday, London suggested setting up a European naval mission to defend the ships.

Speaking to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the veteran diplomat insisted that Germany had a moral duty to play its part. “Hardly any other country is as dependent on the freedom of international shipping as export champions Germany,” Ischinger said.

For that reason, he added, Germany should not just “watch from the sidelines” if a defensive mission in the Gulf was being discussed.

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