The Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, reiterated this Friday her refusal for Spain to participate in any type of mission in the Red Sea. “The decision is not to intervene in the Red Sea,” the head of the Spanish Armed Forces concluded before the media. Her statement comes a few hours after members of Operation Prosperity Guardian attacked Houthi positions in Yemen with the launch of Tomahawk missiles.

Robles has insisted that “Spain is a country firmly committed to peace in the world” and has given as an example the 17 peace missions in which it participates, which make it “the European Union country with the greatest representation in missions”. However, he has reiterated again: “From the beginning we have said that Spain is not going to participate because it is firmly committed to other missions.”

This clarification comes three weeks after David Austin, Secretary of State of Defense of the United States, announced in Bahrain the participation of Spain as part of a coalition of countries in Operation Guardian of Prosperity. After his statements, Defense had to come forward and deny this statement. Despite the fact that the United States made another approach towards Spain on January 9, when the American Chief of Staff, General Charles Brown, contacted by telephone his Spanish counterpart, Admiral Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, Robles has stated They don’t feel pressured. “We as Spaniards decide where we intervene, always under the umbrella of the European Union, NATO or the United Nations,” he insisted and then stressed that “Spain makes its own decisions, no country has to tell it where to intervene.”

In addition to ensuring that “there has been no pressure because the United States knows that Spain makes its decisions based on its commitment to its allies,” Defense sources have reported that the Biden executive has apologized on numerous occasions for having announced participation in a mission that was never put on the table. It was, according to these sources, an error that has already been resolved with the appropriate apologies.

On January 22, the European Union will discuss the proposal of the External Action Service, commanded by High Representative Josep Borrell, to carry out a non-executive support mission in the Red Sea. It would be a mission in which the European Union would have a logistical role, but without intervening with weapons. “We do not know if the European Union is going to approve a mission but in the meantime Spain’s decision is not to intervene in the Red Sea,” insisted Robles, who also stated that “Spain is not opposed to the Union being able to take on missions.” to decide”, although the country would not participate.

One of the reasons given by Spain is the presence in Operation Atalanta in the Indian Ocean. According to Robles, the Victoria frigate, which is now deployed there, is working on a high-demand mission that prevents us from focusing on another operation. Spain, in addition, is now beginning to deploy in Slovakia in a new mission on NATO’s Eastern Flank in which, starting in June, they will send more than 600 troops.

Josep Borrell is already working on contacts with the 27 to reach a common position and carry out a non-executive mission in the Red Sea. As published by Europa Press, the intention is to deploy three frigates to guarantee security in the area. France’s Agenor mission could be used as a logistical base to carry out this mission, in which Spain would not participate and which would last one year.