04:58 GMT20 January 2021
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Iraq rejects the participation of Israel in the US-led maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf, Foreign Minister Mohamad Alhakim stated, stressing that it might further increase tensions in the region.

    "Iraq is against the participation of the Zionist regime's forces in any kind of patrolling to ensure the save passage of ships in the Persian Gulf", Alhakim said on Twitter.

    He added that Iraq was "seeking to reduce tensions in the region through negotiations, while the presence of Western forces in the region is increasing them".

    ​Iran has earlier made a similar statement, opposing the Israeli involvement in the mission.

    Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said last week that his country was part of the US-led mission in the Gulf.

    The United States has been trying to build a coalition to secure maritime security in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which one-third of all seaborne petroleum passes, after several attacks on oil tankers and the capture of a UK commercial ship by Iran. 


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