Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Protection of United States-Flagged Shipping in the Persian Gulf

 

September 26, 1988

 

After reviewing the current cease-fire in the Persian Gulf, which has been in effect since August 20, and consulting with allies and friends in the region, the President has decided to modify our present method of providing protection to U.S.-flagged shipping in the Gulf. The modification entails a change from a tight escort procedure to an ``accompany'' regime. In an accompany regime, U.S. forces will be positioned such that they can take appropriate action if U.S.-flagged ships are directly threatened.

 

In making these adjustments, we would reiterate that the United States intends to maintain in the Gulf the forces required to protect U.S.-flagged shipping and support our national objectives. These changes in no way alter our commitment to freedom of navigation in the Gulf.