Gulf Arab states can secure Persian Gulf waters alone: Iraq's foreign minister

In this photo taken on April 30, 2019, Iranian soldiers take part in the "National Persian Gulf day" in the Strait of Hormuz. PHOTO: AFP

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's foreign minister says Iraq and Gulf Arab states do not need foreign powers to secure navigation in the Persian Gulf as that would only increase regional tensions.

Mohammed al-Hakim tweeted Monday (Aug 12) that regional states are capable of securing the strategic waterway themselves.

Al-Hakim's tweet was in response to efforts by the Trump administration to set up a United States-led naval security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran's recent seizures of vessels has raised tensions with the West.

The United States wants an international coalition to monitor and potentially escort commercial ships there. Britain said last week it would join the mission; no other US allies have committed themselves so far.

Al-Hakim stressed Israel's participation in such a mission was unacceptable.

It is not clear if Israel has been asked to participate.

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