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Britain has initiated its plan to escort all its vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. "The Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage," a government spokesman said on Thursday. "Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, and we will do all we can to defend it," he added in a statement. The British frigate HMS Montrose carried out the first mission under the new policy on Wednesday evening.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday that  the international community should take swift action to protect oil supplies and secure the Strait of Hormuz. Oil importers, as a first immediate step, "have to do what they have to do to protect their own energy shipments because Saudi Arabia cannot take that on its own," he said. Falih also said Saudi Arabia aimed to maximise exports through the 5 million barrels per day (bpd) east-west pipeline if required. "We are hoping to increase it to 7 (million bpd)," he said, although he added that expanding capacity of the east-west pipeline, called Petroline, would take two years.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that he would go to Iran for talks if it was necessary. “Sure, if that’s the call, happily go there," Pompeo said during an televised interview. “I’d like a chance to go, not do propaganda but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran.”