Germany will not take part in US-led mission in Strait of Hormuz: Foreign minister

Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday said the nation will not join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz led by the U.S. amid increasing tension with Iran, according to Reuters.

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin said Tuesday that the U.S. had asked Germany to join a coalition including Britain and France that aimed to secure shipping through the strait amid what it called “Iranian aggression.”

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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday that despite tensions in the region, “there is no military solution” and it viewed the U.S. mission as potentially escalating the friction.

“Germany will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the United States,” Maas said, according to the news service.

The U.S. has accused Iran of attacking ships in the strait, through which about 20 percent of the world’s oil travels. Iran has denied the attacks and in July seized a British-flagged tanker passing through the s3trait.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition faces significant opposition to joining U.S.-led efforts in the region, particularly from her junior Social Democrat partners, including Maas.

“The government is reticent about the concrete U.S. proposal and so has not made an offer,” government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said after a cabinet meeting in Berlin, according to Reuters.

But Germany’s new Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Germany has not yet made a final decision.

“We are reviewing these requests, in close cooperation with Britain and France, and we are doing this against the backdrop of our political and diplomatic goals and in this overall assessment a corresponding decision will be taken,” she said.