Spain Excluded In Global Red Sea Alliance

Diplomatic Tensions Over Red Sea Crisis

Flags of US and Spain. Credit: rafa jodar/

Is Spain losing its footing on the international stage? The recent developments in the Red Sea crisis suggest a diplomatic shift.

The United States, in a significant move, has excluded Spain from a council comprising six major European nations, addressing the escalating situation in the Red Sea, where Houthi rebels in Yemen are threatening global maritime trade.

According to the UK Government: ‘Nearly 15 per cent of global seaborne trade passes through the Red Sea, including 8 per cent of global grain trade, 12 per cent of seaborne-traded oil and 8 per cent of the world’s liquefied natural gas trade.’

On January 3, a joint statement condemning Houthi attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea was issued by the Governments of Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.

This action highlights Spain’s isolated stance, following its decision to disengage from the US-led military mission and oppose a similar initiative by the European Union.

Spain’s Diplomatic Challenges

Under Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s leadership, Spain’s foreign policy has faced numerous setbacks. The Spanish government’s actions have strained relations with key allies, leading to diplomatic tensions with Israel and unexpected commendations from groups like Hamas and the Houthi rebels.

Spain’s refusal to deploy Operation Atalanta ships to the conflict zone has left its European partners astonished, further isolating them.

Consequences Of Spain’s Decisions

The repercussions of Spain’s diplomatic choices are becoming increasingly evident. The Israeli ambassador’s withdrawal from Spain last December, set to return shortly, and the latest developments with the United States signify a growing rift.

According to diplomatic sources, the White House’s exclusion of Spain from the 44-nation list, united against the Houthi threats in the Red Sea, underscores the deepening divide. Notably, Italy, initially aligned with Spain’s stance, has since recalibrated its position with Washington, contrasting starkly with Spain’s ongoing exclusion.

The Broader Implications

Diplomatic experts stress the significance of such gestures in international relations, especially when initiated by a powerhouse like the United States. The absence of an invitation to Spain to join the collective declaration against the Houthis reflects a profound shift in trust and cooperation.

The situation presents a complex puzzle for Spain, calling for a careful reassessment of its foreign policy and diplomatic strategies. The choices made by the Sanchez government could have long-lasting implications, shaping Spain’s role and influence on the international stage.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Criag Dennis Pyatt Dow

      07 January 2024 • 12:37

      Congratulations to the Spanish government for bucking the European Union’s lack of support for the Palestinians in the face of Israel’s unacceptable slaughter of civilians in Gaza, aided and abetted by the American government.

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