Turkey warns of spreading piracy threat along African coasts

16:22, May 22, 2010      

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Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday warmed in a statement of spreading piracy threat along the African coasts.

The statement was made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin to the press at the preparatory meeting of the International Conference on Somalia in Istanbul.

He said that piracy in Somalia should be stopped before it spread to other African coasts.

Up to now, he added, five Turkish ships have been taken hostage by Somali pirates, and one of them was still in the hand of pirates.

"We think that piracy should be prevented from spreading to other African coasts. We also contribute to this goal with active efforts. Turkey has contributed to the operations waged under UN and NATO," said Ozugergin.

Turkey has sent six frigates to Somalia since February 2009 to serve international anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

Turkish navy ships captured seven pirates and fended off many pirate attacks since then.

According to semi-official Anatolia news agency, Turkish President Abdullah Gul met his Somali counterpart in Istanbul on Friday.

But the report did not reveal details of the close-door meeting, saying that the Somali president came for the UN Somali conference, which is set to open on Saturday morning.

Source: Xinhua


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