U.S. Briefs Over 60 Nations on Strait of Hormuz Coalition


Washington, July 19 (Jiji Press)--The U.S. government on Friday briefed more than 60 nations, including Japan, on its plan to form a multinational coalition to protect ships sailing in and around the Strait of Hormuz amid escalating Middle East tensions.

The closed-door session, held at the Department of State, is believed to have been limited to an explanation of an outline of the maritime security initiative, sources said.

According to the sources, an additional session will be held in Tampa, Florida, where the U.S. Central Command has its headquarters, next Thursday for talks on details of the coalition initiative.

The Central Command, which is in charge of the Middle East, said in a statement on Friday that it is "developing a multinational maritime effort, Operation Sentinel, to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf region."

The goal of the operation is "to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman," it said.

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Jiji Press