The situation in the Red Sea

‘We are facing a very serious situation in the Red Sea. For the first time, ballistic anti-ship missiles have been used against civilian vessels. These are very advanced weapons systems. The indiscriminate attacks by the Houthi movement are unacceptable. Crews and innocent parties are exposed to mortal danger and suffer great economic and material losses’, said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

Norway has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world.

‘Ensuring freedom of navigation at sea is of great strategic importance for the global economy and for Norway. Within the framework of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), Norway contributes up to ten staff officers to the international effort to secure civilian shipping in the Red Sea’, said Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram.

Norwegian authorities are in continuous contact with the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and other relevant actors. To help reduce the level of conflict, Norway is in contact with the Houthis.

‘It is important to avoid a regional escalation of the war in Gaza. We have a wide network of contacts in the region and use this network and diplomatic channels in the region to prevent further spread of the conflict. Hence, it was not within our inclination to support the statement released by the US authorities regarding the situation in the Red Sea on 3 January’, said Foreign Minister Eide.