03:10 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Patrol craft USS Squall (PC 7) as it transits in the Gulf acting (File)

    Poland Could Support US Politically in Persian Gulf, Not Via Military - Foreign Ministry

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    WARSAW (Sputnik) - Poland could provide political but not military support to the United States in the Gulf region, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told Polish media.

    "Poland is not a powerful maritime power and does not have much potential for action in distant waters. At the same time, we can provide political support or delegate special personnel", Czaputowicz said in an interview with Rzeczpospolita newspaper.

    The United States has been struggling to build an international coalition to secure maritime security in the strategic Strait of Hormuz after several attacks on oil tankers and the detention of a UK commercial ship by Iran. The first such proposals were made at the end of June during negotiations with NATO allies in Brussels. In early August, the United Kingdom joined the coalition.

    Tensions in the Gulf region have been on the rise over the past several months. In July, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz over an alleged breach of international maritime regulations. The move came two weeks after Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker had been seized by the UK marines near Gibraltar for allegedly smuggling oil to Syria.

    US President Donald Trump said in June that Washington and Warsaw were negotiating an increased US military presence in Poland. These troops would reportedly not be deployed from the United States but rather transferred from Germany over the latter's failure to increase its defence spending to 2 percent of GDP, as per NATO standards.

    Earlier in August, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US statements about an international maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf were empty and, even if implemented, would fail to ensure security in the region. According to the Iranian leader, Persian Gulf countries are capable of ensuring their own security by relying on dialogue and unity, and without external help.


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