EU Naval Force and Chinese Navy Ships Meet at Sea in the Gulf of AdenSeptember 24, 2014 - 16:00
On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, PLANS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden.
The EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Guido Rando, accompanied by the commanding officer of the flagship, Captain Gianfranco Annunziata, and an additional six officers and petty officers, took the opportunity to visit the commander of the Chinese Naval Escort Task Group 989, Rear Admiral Zhang Chuanshu, on board his flagship.
They discussed matters of mutual interests, such as the on-going piracy threat and the importance of coordinating naval activities in the piracy high risk areas, particularly during the inter-monsoon period, when the threat from piracy is increased due to improved weather conditions off the Somali coast, which make it easier for pirates to get out to sea.
The Chinese Navy has warships conducting counter-piracy operations within the Horn Africa in order to ensure the freedom of navigation and safety of maritime trade in the area. They provide warship escorts to merchant ships to protect them from pirate attacks. Chinese Navy ships have in the past also contributed to the protection of World Food Programme ships during their transit in the Gulf of Aden.
Speaking about the visit, Rear Admiral Rando stated: “Cooperation between counter-piracy and escorting forces in these waters is fundamental to the success of our mission. We were able to use today to confirm and strengthen cooperation between the EU Naval Force and the Chinese Escort Task Group operating in the area. The exchange of experiences, information and coordination is key to the effectiveness of the international fight against piracy.
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