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Greece agrees to lead EU Red Sea naval mission

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Greece has officially agreed to participate in and lead a European Union maritime security operation in the Red Sea. 

According to AP News, Greece will now be able to protect shipping vessels from attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Greece, recognised as a significant maritime shipping power, has directly felt the impact of the Houthi attacks. The port of Piraeus, located near Athens, reported a 12.7% decline in activity at its container terminal in January compared to the previous year.

A security committee headed by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered the participation of a Greek frigate in the Aspides operation – named from the Greek word for “shield” – that was launched last week.

The operation will be run from a military base in Larissa, central Greece and overseen by the Greek navy commander Vasilios Griparis.

Greece’s Defence Minister Nikos Dendias spoke about the operation on Monday while on a visit to the navy frigate Hydra at a naval base near Athens.

“We all understand that participation in this operation involves risks, significant risks,” he said.

“Greece, as a maritime power with a leading role in global shipping, attaches great importance to the need to safeguard the freedom of navigation, as well as the life of Greek seafarers.”

Germany, Italy and France will also provide warships for the mission, joining the Hydra, while Italy will assume tactical command, according to Greek officials.

Source: AP News.

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