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FT-Maersk CEO Calls For Action On Houthi Attacks On Shipping


FT reportingcomments from CEO of shipping giant AP Møller-Maersk Vincent Clerc, claiming that the disruption to global shipping caused by Houthi rebels firing on vessels in and around the Red Sea could last for a significant period of time. Clerc: “It’s unclear to us if we are talking about re-establishing safe passage into the Red Sea in a matter of days, weeks or months . . . It could potentially have quite significant consequences on global growth,

  • Clerc calls on the US and its allies to be more proactive in ensuring the safety of the waters around the Red Sea, saying “We are urging the international community to mobilise and do what it needs to do to reopen the [Bab-el-Mandeb] strait. It is one of the main arteries of the global economy, and it is clogged right now.
  • While US and UK navy vessels have shot down an increasing number of Houthi drones and missiles in recent days, there remains a reluctance to engage in direct attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The West fears inciting major backlash in MENA nations to perceived 'US-Israeli attacks' on Arabs.
  • However, by performing a purely defensive role the US and UK risk having their resources drained. Houthi drones cost around GBP16k a piece, compared to UK Sea Viper missiles used to down them costing GBP1mn per warhead. Inaction also emboldens adversaries/competitors such as Russia, Iran, and China who could view Western inaction as a sign of weakness.

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