Egypt’s PM, Maersk officials discuss developments in Red Sea

(Reuters) – Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly discussed developments in the Red Sea with officials from shipping group Maersk in a video conference and ways to enhance cooperation, a statement from the Egyptian cabinet said on Wednesday.

Madbouly stressed the centrality of the security and safety of maritime navigation in the Red Sea to Egypt’s national security in light of its close connection to the Suez Canal, which is used by roughly one-third of global container ship cargo, the statement added.

Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on vessels in the Red Sea since November to show their support for Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fighting Israel in Gaza.

The meeting touched on the threat the Houthis pose to the security of maritime navigation in the Red Sea and Maersk’s aspirations to resume its sea voyages there, the statement said.

Maersk is diverting all container vessels from Red Sea routes around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future due to the instability in the Red Sea, warning customers to prepare for significant disruption.

(Reporting by Moamen Saeed Atallah Writing by Yomna Ehab; Editing by Mark Potter)