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Dutch FM Says U.S. Requests Aid in Hormuz Straight

IRAQ -- Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok speaks during a press conference with prime minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in Irbil, December 18, 2018

The Netherlands is studying a U.S. request to provide military backing in the Straight of Hormuz to protect commercial shipping in the key passage.

Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Stef Blok said Monday that the government would work through mid-September assessing the request before making a decision. He said it depended on the military equipment that would be needed and the overall security risks.

"We will use the summer to see what answer we will come up with," Blok said.

European Union nations are looking to deescalate tensions in the Persian Gulf area and are calling on Iran to stick to the 2015 nuclear deal signed with several world powers, despite the pullout of the United States from the accord and the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran.