EU High Representative Catherine Ashton visited EU NAVFOR Flag ship HSwMS CarlskronaMay 21, 2010 - 22:41
“Piracy is one of the big challenges of our times, both for the region and for the international community.” That is the words of the European Union representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. She visited EU NAVFOR Flag ship HSwMS Carlskrona the Friday 21 of May, during a port visit in Port Victoria, Seychelles.
The High representative (HR) Ashton made an African tour visiting Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles 18-21 May to meet with political leaders of these countries, international representatives and representatives of civil society. In her first visit to Africa, Ashton is particularly focusing on countries in the region affected by piracy off the east coast of the continent, notably Somalia, and explore with them options for effective and sustainable solutions.
During the visit to the Seychelles HR Ashton visited EU NAVFOR Force Headquarters, based aboard the Swedish warship Carlskrona, which conveniently made a port visit at the Seychelles this week. She was welcomed aboard by the Operational Commander Rear Admiral Peter Hudson and the Force Commander Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist. After a short meeting and a lunch she was briefed on the situation in Operation Atalanta and had a tour on the ship where she showed special interest in the Force Headquarters Maritime Operations Centre.
“I’m delighted to be aboard the Swedish flag ship”, HR Ashton said, very content with the meeting. She also expressed her satisfaction with the efforts that are made in the naval force, especially having the limited assets, in relation to the vast area, in mind and said: “I think the operation is going extremely well”.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Unions Mission in Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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