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UN hails naval escorting operations by China in Gulf of Aden, Somali waters
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08:34, December 23, 2008

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the UN Security Council, Neven Jurica ofCroatia, Monday both extended their welcome to China's decision to dispatch Chinese naval ships for escorting operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, saying the Chinese move is a strong support for the global efforts to fight pirates there, a Chinese envoy said at United Nations.

Ban and Jurica both voiced their appreciation of the Chinese decision in their separate telephone exchanges with Zhang Yesui, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, during which Zhang briefed the UN leaders on the decision of the Chinese government to send Chinese naval ships to undertake escorting operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.

Ban said he appreciated the Chinese decision, saying that it means a strong support of China to the joint efforts by the international community to fight against pirates off the Somali coast, and this mirrors a very important role that China is playing in the international affairs.

For his part, Jurica, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member Security Council for December, described the Chinese decision as a timely move, saying that it is a great support for the work of the Security Council.

During the telephone talks, Zhang said that ships which pass the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters were often attacked or hijacked by pirates there in recent years, piracy has become a serious threat to the international shipping, trade and security.

This outgoing year saw several incidents of Chinese ships or Chinese-funded foreign vessels hijacked by pirates, and the security and safety of Chinese ships and Chinese personnel are severely threatened, Zhang said.

Under the relevant Security Council resolutions and according to relevant steps by countries concerned, the Chinese government decided to send naval fleet for escorting operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, with the main aim to protect Chinese ships and personnel navigating the waters, and the vessels shipping humanitarian relief goods by such international organizations as the World Food Progam, Zhang said.

Source: Xinhua

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