India As Tensions Rise In Red Sea

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'Taking Necessary Measures': India As Tensions Rise In Red Sea

India said it is “carefully evaluating” all aspects of unfolding situation in Red Sea (Representational)

New Delhi:

India values the free movement of commercial shipping and is closely evaluating all aspects of the unfolding situation in the Red Sea, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, however, also added that New Delhi is not part of any multilateral initiative or operation in or around the Red Sea.

Notably, tensions have brewed in the Red Sea after Houthi rebels stepped up attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea as a mark of ‘protest’ against Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Addressing the weekly briefing, Bagchi said, “As we said earlier, we value the free movement of commercial shipping, which is one of the fundamental principles underpinning global commerce. We are carefully evaluating all aspects of the unfolding situation in that region. Our defence forces are taking necessary measures in this regard”.

“But I’m not aware that India is part of any multilateral initiative or operation presently in or around the Red Sea,” he added.

Notably, the Iran-backed Houthis have attacked numerous vessels over recent weeks, saying they are targeting ships in the Red Sea “with links to Israel” in protest against its military offensive in Gaza. The group has warned against sailing towards the area, Al Jazeera reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US said that it had shot down twelve attack drones and five missiles, which it claimed were launched by the Iran-backed Houthis.

There was no damage to ships in the area or injuries reported, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

The USS Laboon, a guided-missile destroyer, and F-18 fighter jets from the Eisenhower carrier strike group are in the southern Red Sea as part of a US-led coalition meant to protect shipping lanes from attack by the Houthis in the key Bab el-Mandeb strait, according to The Times of Israel.

In a major development, oil major BP temporarily paused all transit through the Red Sea citing security concerns. The alternative route for ships avoiding the Suez Canal is to take the much longer trip around Africa, Al Jazeera reported.

In the wake of the situation, the US announced the creation of an international coalition against Houthi attacks on international maritime trade in the Red Sea, earlier this month, The Hill reported.

Operation Prosperity Guardian will involve the navies of Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Spain, the UK and the US. The task force falls under the Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational alliance tasked with defending the world’s shipping lanes.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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