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New Zealand to deploy troops to Red Sea

New Zealand to deploy troops to Red Sea

 
- Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says his troops will not enter Yemen
 

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - New Zealand on Tuesday announced that it will deploy a six-member defense team to the Middle East region to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea.

In a joint statement with New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defense Minister Judith Collins, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said the troops will not enter Yemen.

“Houthi attacks against commercial and naval shipping are illegal, unacceptable and profoundly destabilising, Luxon said.


He added that the defense team “will contribute to the collective self-defence of ships in the Middle East, in accordance with international law, from operational headquarters in the region and elsewhere.”


The deployment is mandated to conclude no later than July 31, 2024.

Tensions have escalated in the Red Sea amid Houthi attacks on commercial ships suspected of having links with Israel.

The Houthis say their attacks aim to pressure Israel to halt its deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 25,295 people since an Oct. 7 cross-border offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced last month the creation of a multinational mission, Operation Prosperity Guardian, to counter Houthi attacks.

The US and UK launched airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen in recent days in retaliation for the attacks, which have created fears of a new bout of inflation and supply chain disruption.

The Red Sea is one of the world's most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments. It is used to transit between Egypt's Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden, allowing ships to avoid the much costlier and longer route across the southern coast of Africa.

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