EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA & The Sultanate of OmanOctober 28, 2019 - 11:47
This November marks more than ten years since Operation ATALANTA’s first Force Commander, Commodore Pieter Bindt (Royal Netherlands Navy), first addressed Omani authorities in Muscat regarding their cooperation with Operation ATALANTA.
In October, current EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA Commander, Major General Antonio Planells Palau and EU Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso engaged Omani authorities at the highest level in the Oman-EU Roundtable Discussion on Maritime Cooperation in Muscat. The Roundtable Discussion gave EU NAVFOR Somalia and the Omani authorities—including the Head of the Omani Royal Navy, Commander Abdullah bin Khamis Al Raisi—the chance to discuss current affairs and explore opportunities for further cooperation with Operation ATALANTA.
“It is important to remember Operation ATALANTA assets are placed at the center of a dynamic, interactive network of military and civilian actors,” said Operation ATALANTA Commander Major General Antonio Planells Palau in a speech at the Oman-EU Roundtable event. “Our relationships with our international partners are absolutely crucial to achieve our common objectives.”
Operation ATALANTA is a stable, exemplary Common Defence and Security Policy (CDSP) operation. For this reason, as EU NAVFOR Somalia approaches the review of its current mandate at the end of this year, there are new factors to consider. The situation in the Area of Operations continues to evolve. Piracy and other threats such as regional conflict and the trafficking of narcotics, charcoal, arms and humans are still threats to the security and stability of the Western Indian Ocean. The topics at hand for the upcoming strategic review will focus on whether—and how—Operation ATALANTA can contribute to these threats in years to come.
All factors considered, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA continues to value and depend on cooperation from contributing organisations and countries like the Sultanate of Oman to effectively combat piracy. The Cooperation Concept for ATALANTA (COCOA) is a mechanism that Operation ATALANTA has developed to increase synergies with regional states and military actors present in the region. As the context of maritime security in the region evolves, the cooperation concept aims to help Operation ATALANTA and its partners complement each other’s efforts in a pragmatic and flexible, but predictable way.
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