ECSA welcomes European Parliament’s call for action in the Red Sea
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. They are calling for immediate and concerted EU efforts, including a naval operation, receiving support from the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).
“We are grateful for the support of the Parliament on the very concerning developments in the Red Sea. The attacks on ships put the safety and lives of our seafarers at risk. They also have a direct impact on imports and exports, and energy prices in Europe. We urgently need more concerted efforts at EU level to keep seafarers safe and trade routes secure. This is key for the security of the continent” said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA Secretary General.
Protecting key shipping routes and the international principle of freedom of navigation is essential to guarantee the energy, food and supply chain security of Europe. The Red Sea is a key route for European trade and its international connectivity. Disruptions of key services are reported in the Red Sea with a 96 per cent drop in gas tankers transiting the Bab al-Mandab compared to December, and over 80 per cent of container ships transiting between the Atlantic/Med and the Indian Ocean choosing to reroute.
It is worth reminding that the Houthi militia has been targeting vessels with ties to Israel as a response to the ongoing aggression on civilians in the Gaza Strip. Following the US, and the UK’s attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen, the leader of Houthi militia, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said that these attacks would not go without response.
The militia’s spokesperson, Nasruldeen Amer, told Al Jazeera that British and American ships have now also become targets due to the strikes launched on Yemen. “The ship doesn’t necessarily have to be heading to Israel for us to target it. It is enough for it to be American,” he said. “The United States is on the verge of losing its maritime security.”
But the effects have gone far beyond just US and Israel-tied vessels and have put European seafarers and European trade at risk.