The EU NAVFOR Commander welcomes the President of the Seychelles and other senior visitors to the Operation Headquarters.February 22, 2012 - 18:33
On 21 February, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts welcomed His Excellency President James Michel of the Seychelles; Mr Joel Morgan, his Minister for Home Affairs, Environment and Transport; the Hon Crispus Kiyonga, Ugandan Minister of Defence; Lt Gen Katuma Wamala, Commander Land Forces of the Ugandan Army; and Maj Gen Paul Mella, Tanzanian Head of Intelligence. The distinguished visitors came to the Northwood Headquarters for an update on the EU NAVFOR mission and counter-piracy in preparation for the London Conference on Somalia on 23 February.
The visit was part of the preparations for the Somalia Conference to be held in London on 23 February and was designed to enhance and develop the relationship between key countries in the region, while discussing the current piracy situation and methods to combat this scourge of organized crime in the Indian Ocean.
President James Michel expressed his appreciation of the role of the EU Naval Forces in preventing piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean as well as assisting merchant ships in adopting measures of best practice for protection against attacks.
“The EU Naval Forces are successfully disrupting a large number of piracy attacks. This is highly commendable and has benefited Seychelles greatly, as we are on the forefront of the fight against piracy. Our military cooperation with EU forces has been exemplary as many of the Seychelles successful antipiracy missions have been joint operations with EUNAVFOR. We are grateful for this assistance and count on the continued support of our partners,” said Mr Michel.
As part of the briefing, Rear Admiral Potts commented “The briefing and discussion today has been an excellent opportunity for me to actively engage with the countries which border the area of operations to ensure that there is a common understanding of the issues as we develop our tactics to better tackle the problem of piracy at sea”.
Before he left the Headquarters, President Michel stated that “Piracy is rooted in the political and humanitarian crisis in Somalia. I have appealed to world leaders to take action in Somalia itself, in order to implement a comprehensive plan to end the turmoil and suffering there. Somali piracy is not just a regional problem, it is an international one, and it requires an international response to ensure that Indian Ocean maritime routes are safe again”
EU NAVFOR Somalia is a counter-piracy taskforce operating in the area of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean responsible for deterring, preventing and repressing acts of piracy, for the safe escort of ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and to protect other vulnerable vessels. Additionally, EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia
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