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NZ Support For Strikes Against Houthis

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins KC today expressed New Zealand support for strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen threatening commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

“Today’s strikes support international security and trade, on which New Zealanders rely,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.

“Nearly 15 per cent of global trade flows through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. Supply chain disruptions mean higher costs for New Zealand consumers and delays getting goods to and from markets in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

“We are a trading nation that relies on international maritime law and the free flow of goods, and Houthi actions strike at the heart of New Zealand’s national security.”

The Ministers said today’s military strikes followed clear warnings.

“The Houthi attacks are illegal, unacceptable and profoundly destabilising. We and our partners have made repeated calls for them to stop,” Mr Peters said.

“These warnings have not been heeded. The Houthis have only stepped up their attacks, as we saw on 10 January with the launch of further drones and missiles at commercial shipping vessels. Today’s response is the inevitable consequence of the Houthis’ disregard for international law, peace and stability.”

Ms Collins said the United Nations Security Council had also been clear on this issue, demanding that the Houthis immediately cease their attacks.

“This is a good example of the international community uniting to address a serious threat to international security,” she said.

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“New Zealand will continue to stand with partners in upholding maritime security in the region.

“New Zealand defence forces have a long-standing role, in our exclusive economic zone and throughout the world, in supporting maritime security, including safe shipping lanes and the protection of civilian crews. Freedom of navigation is an integral part of New Zealand’s national security.”

New Zealand has joined a statement with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and United States on today’s military action.

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