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EU welcomes efforts to de-escalate tensions in Strait of Hormuz

BRUSSELS, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- The European Union Monday welcomed efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Strait of Hormuz after the authorities in Gibraltar released yesterday an Iranian oil tanker.
"We take note of the decision of the government of Gibraltar. We welcome all efforts to de-escalate tensions in the region," an EU spokesperson for foreign affairs Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela told a news conference.
"We are following developments very closely. We are in regular contacts with the countries in the region to de-escalate the situation and seek ways to contribute to confidence building," he said.
Discussions are continuing on a solution to help increase maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz, he said, adding that it would be unwise at this stage to speculate on the tools and means for such a solution.
Asked to comment on3 media reports that Germany has proposed to dispatch a European naval mission to the Strait of Hormuz, the spokesman replied that he was not aware of this proposal.
According to media reports, the Iranian tanker Grace 1 has left the port after Gibraltar rejected a request by the US to seize the ship, which has changed its name to Adrian Darya-1.
The ship was seized with the help of British marines on July 4th, after the government of Gibraltar accused the Iranian ship of carrying oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. (end) nk.lr