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Cyprus Shipping Chamber welcomes mission to protect Red Sea vessels

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The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (Kne) on Tuesday released a statement welcoming the official launch of the EU maritime security defence operation in the Red Sea, known as ‘ASPIDES’.

The chamber’s announcement noted that the operation was launched on 19 February and holds a defensive mandate. It aims to accompany and protect commercial vessels in the area against potential attacks at sea.

France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium have officially announced their intention to deploy vessels for the EU mission.

In addition, Greece is set to appoint a commander for its operational headquarters, Italy will supply the force commander, and France will contribute the deputy force commander.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, described the mission as a “significant step to safeguard the economic and security interests of the EU and the global community”.

Importantly, the chamber underscored that the escalating situation in the Red Sea poses daily risks to seafarers and increasingly impacts Europe’s supply chain and overall economic security.

Emphasising the importance of both protecting key shipping routes and safeguarding the international principle of freedom of navigation, the chamber said these actions are crucial for securing Europe’s energy, food, and supply chain.

Additionally, it stated that the European presence in the area, addressing security concerns and ensuring the safety of seafarers, is imperative.

Finally, the chamber also expressed support for all coordinated efforts, including diplomatic actions aimed at de-escalating the crisis.

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