Statement on the continuing attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the first open meeting of the Security Council on the continuing attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea

Thank you, President, and congratulations on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. You have the full support of the Slovenian delegation. We are very pleased as a new, elected member, to take our seat at the Security Council table today.

Thank you also to our briefers this afternoon, ASG Khiari and SG Dominguez for the timely updates on the very concerning developments in the Red Sea.

The deteriorating situation in the Red Sea is deeply concerning, and the escalation witnessed in recent days is particularly worrying.

The Houthis’ interference with navigational rights and freedoms over the past weeks is simply unacceptable, and poses a serious threat to international maritime security.

It also poses a significant threat to the movement of food, fuel and critical humanitarian assistance intended to reach populations across the world.

We condemn these attacks and call for their immediate cessation.

We furthermore call for the release of the MV Galaxy Leader and its crew, seized in November.

We also wish to acknowledge the contribution of many member states to efforts towards ensuring freedom of navigation and reinforcing regional maritime security, in line with international law, at this sensitive time.

President, as we are all acutely aware, the last months of 2023 have proved to be an extremely turbulent and traumatic period in the Middle East. The need to avoid regional spillover and escalation from the current devastation in Gaza, Israel and the broader region is paramount.

We therefore call once again for the cessation of all attacks against commercial vessels operating in the region’s crucial waterways, for utmost restraint from all actors, and for a calming of the situation.

It should be in no one’s interest to see a further destabilisation and spiral of violence in the region – not the people of Gaza, not the people of Israel, and not the people of Yemen.

Thank you.

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