EU Foreign Ministers to discuss response to Houthi attacks during Council meeting
07:58 - 22 January 2024
The Foreign Affairs Council, taking place in Brussels, is set to discuss an EU maritime mission for the Red Sea, as a response to Houthi attacks from Yemen on commercial ships.
CNA learns that Cyprus is expected to approve the mission, along with the rest of EU countries, but is not expected to contribute with staff or means.
Houthis said they were targeting Israeli-bound ships transiting the Red Sea, protesting Israel's war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Ship bombings have led major shipping companies to avoid the Strait, disrupting international supply chains and increasing delivery delays and transportation costs. The US and UK bombed Houthi positions, setting off from the British Base at Akrotiri.
The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the situation in the Middle East. In that context, the Ministers will decide on a European mission to protect shipping in the Red Sea from Houthi attacks.
Government Spokesperson, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, stated, last week, that the Republic of Cyprus is not involved with Britain's military operations against the Houthis, noting, at the same time, that the effects on the country's economy and internationally from the Houthi attacks are evident. He had also mentioned that the matter will be discussed at the EU level on Monday, with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Kombos, and there the issue of both security and economic implications will be raised.
In the meantime, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber welcomed a relevant European Parliament resolution condemning the recent wave of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and called on all EU parties to take immediate and coordinated action to address the threat to maritime security in the region.