France is setting up a new maritime surveillance mission in the Gulf and is helping to improve Saudi Arabia’s air defences, Minister of Defence Florence Parly told a conference on 23 November.
“Earlier this month, after the attack [on] Abqaiq and Khurais [oil facilities on 14 September], I have sent to Saudi Arabia a robust package of advanced warning, including sophisticated radar and tens of [personnel] to deter drone and cruise missile attacks. We will stand by our allies. You can count on us,” she said at the International Institute of Security Studies (IISS) in Manama, Bahrain.
“France is currently working to put together a European maritime surveillance mission, distinct from the policy of maximal pressure,” she added, referring to the US policy of increasing economic sanctions on Iran, which is widely seen as the cause of the recent attacks on tankers and Saudi oil infrastructure.
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