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Joint Statement... 12 countries warn Houthis



Joint Statement... 12 countries warn Houthis



The governments of the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada,

Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand

and the United Kingdom issued a joint Houthi warning statement.


"We recognize the broad consensus expressed by 44 countries around

the world on December 19, 2023, as well as the statement of


the United Nations Security Council on December 1, 2023 condemning 

Houthi attacks on merchant vessels transiting the Red Sea

 it said in the statement.



In light of the continuing attacks

including the significant escalation over the past week, targeting merchant

ships with rockets and small boats and attempts to hijack them

we repeat and warn the Houthis against further attacks."


The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea were illegal

unacceptable and significantly destabilizing, and there

was no legal justification for deliberately targeting civilian and naval vessels.


In their statement

States stressed that attacks on ships

including commercial

using drones, small boats and missiles, including the first use of

anti-ship ballistic missiles, posed a direct threat to freedom of navigation


which was the basis for global trade in one of

 the world's most dangerous waterways.


In the statement, she stressed that such attacks threatened innocent

 lives from around the world and represented a major international 

problem requiring collective action.


Nearly 15% of global seaborne trade passes through the Red Sea

including 8% of global grain trade, 12% of seaborne oil trade

 and 8% of the world's LNG trade.


International shipping companies continue to reorient their vessels around

Cape of Good Hope, adding significant cost and weeks of

delays in delivering goods, and jeopardizing the movement of food

fuel and vital humanitarian assistance around the world.


The 12 countries sent a message to the Houthis, saying

"Let our message now be clear, we call for the immediate cessation of

 these illegal attacks and the release of illegally detained vessels and crews.


 The Houthis will bear responsibility 

for the consequences if they continue to threaten lives

the global economy and the free flow of trade in vital waterways in the region."


"We remain committed to the rules-based international order 

and determined to hold malicious actors accountable

 for illegal seizures and attacks", she concluded.


Earlier

Yemen's Ansar Allah Houthi movement announced a targeting

 operation against a ship bound for Israel after refusing to respond to calls.


The Houthis said in 

a statement that "the naval forces carried out a targeting of

 a CMA CGM TAGE vessel bound for the occupied ports of Palestine

noting that "the targeting followed the refusal of the ship's crew to 

respond to calls by the Yemeni naval forces, including fiery warning messages."


The Ansar Allah Houthi group

had previously announced its intention to

 attack vessels associated with Israel or bound for its ports and called on

other States to call their crews and not approach them at sea.


For its part

the United States announced that, in response to 

the growing attacks by the Houthis, it had, together with other countries

launched Operation Boom Guard Alliance, to protect navigation in the Red Sea.