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German govt agrees to join EU military mission to Red Sea

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The German government has agreed to join a European Union military mission to protect shipping in the Red Sea.

The deputy government spokesman, Wolfgang Büchner announced the decision by the coalition government on Friday in Berlin

The agreement would provide for up to 700 German military personnel to take part in the mission which is aimed at protecting the important maritime shipping route from attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen.

The country’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, would still need to vote to approve the mandate which is set to run till February 28, 2025.

Soldiers would provide staff for the EU naval operation, dubbed Aspides from the ancient Greek word for shield.

READ ALSO: Germany may deport 14,000 Nigerians, Chancellor Scholz warns

The frigate Hessen, with around 240 sailors and soldiers on board, left its base on the German North Sea coast more than a week ago in anticipation of the mission being officially approved.

The Red Sea shipping corridor is major route to the Suez Canal, connecting the Indian Ocean and the Gulf region with the Mediterranean Sea.

Important energy shipments bound for Europe from the Gulf states pass through the route, as does much trade between Europe and southern and south-east Asia.

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