Britain’s decision to join a U.S.-led naval mission in the Gulf has delayed European efforts to set up a maritime force to ensure safe shipping in the Strait of Hormuz separate from American patrols, EU diplomats say.
Britain and France proposed a European-led maritime force in July that was to be independent of the United States. They won support from Denmark, Italy and Spain, who were wary of an American mission for fear of making U.S.-Iranian tensions worse. […]
France will make a fresh attempt on Sept. 16 to set up a mission to protect merchant shipping in the Strait, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes, hoping to gather some 15 European countries in Paris to discuss a way forward.
But diplomats involved in talks between EU capitals said London’s unexpected change of strategy to join a U.S.-led mission, taken by the new government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Aug. 5, has frustrated progress.
“Many of us wanted to do this with Britain, out of European solidarity, and to avoid the U.S. maximum pressure campaign on Iran,” one senior EU diplomat said. “Now it’s all on hold because Britain sided with the Americans.” Läs artikel