Statement by Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of January, to the Security Council meeting on maintenance of international peace and security

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France condemns the attacks conducted by the Houthis in the Red Sea

January 3, 2024

I would like to thank Mr. Khiari and Mr. Dominguez for their briefings.

France condemns the attacks conducted by the Houthis in the Red Sea against commercial vessels. These attacks undermine fundamental principles of international law, mainly the freedom of maritime navigation. With these armed actions, the Houthis bear the extremely heavy responsibility for the escalation of tensions in the region, as well as for international stability. 15% of global trade is thus directly threatened by the Houthis and those who train and support them. We continue to call for the immediate release of the Galaxy Leader and its crew, illegally detained by the Houthis.

France reiterates that States have the right to take appropriate measures to ensure security at sea. This is what we did when the frigate Languedoc destroyed drones threatening a French vessel on December 9. It is also the collective responsibility of this Council to ensure that the peace process in Yemen continues according to the roadmap of the Special Envoy, to whom France reiterates its full support. We call on all Yemeni parties to continue negotiations under his auspices.

France will continue to shoulder its responsibilities in the Bab Al Mandeb Strait, and will continue to contribute to the safety of commercial vessels in conjunction with its partners. It calls upon all international and regional actors to act responsibly to avoid any new escalation in the region, and calls on this Council to show unity in the face of a threat that affects all of us.

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