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12 Nations Unleash Fury: Fiery Memo to Houthis Demands Release of Hijacked Vessels and End of Attacks

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Twelve nations have issued a final warning against the Yemeni Houthis, urging them to cease all attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, release the two hijacked vessels and crews, or “they will bear the consequences if they continue to endanger lives, the global economic system, and the free flow of trade in the region’s vital waterways.”

Last weekend, the joint statement of the governments of Australia, Bahrain, and Germany was announced. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower’s aggressive helicopter intervention that resulted in the sinking of three pirate ships by the Houthi while they attempted to board the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou, showed how patience was running out.

It may be too late for it to have much of an impact. The Houthis damaged and destroyed the French-owned CMA CGM TAGE, which was sailing under the Malta flag from Singapore to Alexandria, Egypt.

Maersk, the shipping giant, announced on Tuesday that it would no longer be using the Red Sea.

This video shows commercial ships flying out of the Red Sea.

The cost of the flight is now beginning to be reflected in freight rates. The graph below shows that container prices are rising from China to the West Coast. This represents a 65 percent cost increase. The cost of containers shipped from China to the US East Coast is up by 55 percent. However, they were already about a third higher than West Coast deliveries.

This price increase will be on Walmart and Costco’s shelves in a few weeks.

Only the US, UK, and Italy are surface combatants present in this area. France’s one frigate is currently on an anti-piracy patrol near the Horn of Africa. France, unlike Italy, seems to be refusing to put its ships under US control.

In the next two weeks, it will become clear whether this is a serious reaction to an Iranian-managed assault on two key maritime chokepoints as well as a major trade route.

Text of the Statement

In recognition of the wide consensus expressed by 44 nations around the world in December 2023 as well as the UN Security Council’s statement on December 1, 2023, condemning Houthi attacks against commercial vessels transiting through the Red Sea and ongoing attacks including an escalation last week that targeted commercial vessels with missiles and small boats and attempted hijackings

We reiterate what we have said and warn the Houthis of further attacks.

The ongoing Houthi attacks on the Red Sea are illegal, unacceptable, and destabilizing. It is illegal to deliberately target civilian ships and naval vessels.

The attacks on commercial vessels using unmanned aerial vehicles, small boats, and missiles – including the first-ever use of antiship ballistic missiles – are a direct danger to the freedom of movement that is the foundation of global trade along one of the most important waterways in the world.

These attacks are a threat to innocent lives around the globe and represent a serious international problem that requires collective action.

Nearly 15% of all seaborne trade in the world passes through the Red Sea. This includes 8% of the global grain trade, 12% of oil traded by sea, and 8% of liquefied gas. The shipping companies are continuing to reroute vessels through the Cape of Good Hope. This adds significant costs and delays to the delivery of goods.

Our message is clear: We demand an immediate stop to these illegal attacks and the release of vessels and crews that have been unlawfully detained. If the Houthis continue to endanger lives, the global economic system, and the free flow of commerce along the critical waterways in the region, they will be held responsible for the consequences.

We are committed to international law and will not hesitate to hold those who violate the rules accountable.

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