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Red Sea Crisis

EU forces committed to keeping sealanes open against security threats

Photo: EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA Vice Admiral Villanueva.JPG
Operation ATALANTA Vice Admiral Villanueva speaking in Madrid
European naval forces are working with the shipping industry on a common point of contact for assistance against maritime security threats.

The 15th Industry Strategic Meeting on 30 and 31 May in Madrid sees EU NAVFOR’s Operation ATALANTA bringing together maritime operations in the Northwest Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, the Gulf, and the Red Sea with the shipping industry.

“The balance is changing in the region, due to the impact of relevant crisis like Ukraine and Gaza. We are all committed to keep the sealines open, and it is common sense to think about a single EU Maritime operation able to address all maritime security related issues in Indian Ocean, also facilitating coordination with European shipping industry" Vice Admiral Emmanuel Slaars, Operation Commander of European maritime awareness Strait of Hormuz.

Since November 2023 commercial shipping has come under attack for the Houthi in Yemen in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, attacking the Houthi say in response to the conflict in Gaza. There has also been a return of piracy off Somalia in the region.

The meeting is co-chaired by EUNAVFOR ASPIDES and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) with Operation AGENOR as special guest, along with maritime industry representatives such as the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Bimco to discuss the current threats to the sector.

The event looked to address the need to streamline communication with a single point of contact for the industry both to request assistance and access information. “The discussions and outcomes of this meeting aim to improve operational collaboration and provide practical information to all stakeholders,” EU NAVFOR said in a statement.

With different areas of operation Vice Admiral Ignacio Villanueva Serrano, Operation Commander European Naval Force Operation ATALANTA said the various forces were looking for common solutions to increase security in their respective areas.