Maersk to resume operations in Red Sea

ISTANBUL – Danish shipping giant Maersk announced Sunday that it will resume operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden after a multinational security initiative deployed its forces against Houthi attacks, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

“The recent security situation around the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden has seen Maersk and other carriers pause, adjust and divert services away from the area in the interest of safety.

“Our utmost priority has been and always will be the safety of our seafarers as well as your cargo on our vessels, and all contingency measures have been introduced with these in mind,” it said in a statement.

“As of Sunday (Dec 24), we have received confirmation that the previously announced multi-national security initiative Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) has now been set up and deployed to allow maritime commerce to pass through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden and once again return to using the Suez Canal as a gateway between Asia and Europe.

“This is most welcome news for the entire industry and indeed the functionality of global trade,” it added.

Yemen’s Houthi group has significantly stepped up its involvement in the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The group has warned that it will attack all Israel-bound ships in the Red Sea, one of the world’s most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments, in a bid to support Palestinians as they face Israel’s aggression and siege in Gaza.

The world’s largest container companies suspended their operations in the region last week.

Following the Houthi attacks, the United States (US) announced the creation of a multinational mission last week to counter them.

In a statement, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the escalating attacks threatened the free flow of commerce, endangered innocent mariners, and violated international law. – BERNAMA-ANADOLU / pic TMR FILE