EU reiterates overall engagement to fight piracy off Somalia coast

14:57, June 15, 2010      

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The European Union on Monday reiterated its determination to strengthen its overall engagement to enhance regional capacity to fight piracy off Somalia coast.

The EU's External Affairs Council meeting held here on Monday commended Operation Atalanta for its successes in deterring, preventing and disrupting pirates'activities, especially in protecting World Food Program and AMISOM shipments, agreeing to prolong the operation for another two years until December 2012.

The council intended to have a strategic discussion on the operation in early Autumn as part of the EU's comprehensive engagement in the region, promising in principle to extend the Area of Operations further to its East and South in order to respond to the increased range of pirates'attacks.

It strongly encourages the international maritime community to further promote full adherence to recommended best practice in order to continue increasing its capacity to meet its responsibility to keep its vessels safe.

The council welcomes the ongoing engagement of Cathrine Ashton, high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, with countries of the region in order to promote the development of regional cooperation to fight piracy, along with the regional ministerial conference on piracy convened by the representative in the Seychelles on May 21 this year.

The EU stands ready to continue cooperating with the international community in a coherent manner, in particular within the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and looks forward to the report in this field by the Secretary General of the United Nations, as requested in UN Security Council Resolution 1918.

The council stresses that an enduring solution to the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden can only be reached by building on Somali ownership and addressing the underlying security and developmental challenges in Somalia.

Recalling its conclusions adopted in July and December 2009, the council reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive approach in addressing the Somali crisis, encouraging continued constructive engagement from all regions of Somalia.

Source: Xinhua


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