EU to move action against pirates to Seychelles area


08-June-2009


Minister Morgan meets Mr Solana

It has also promised to keep up its presence in the Indian Ocean for as long as there is pirate activity in the region.

These pledges were made during recent talks in Brussels between Environment, Natural Resources and Transport Minister Joel Morgan and Javier Solana, the EU’s high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Mr Morgan was attending the first meeting of fisheries ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and took the opportunity to stress the serious threat to Seychelles’ economy posed by acts of piracy.

The talks with Mr Solana last Wednesday were held in the presence of Seychelles’ ambassador to the EU Barry Faure and principal secretary for natural resources and transport Veronique Herminie.

The EU’s cooperation on surveillance in view of the continuing pirate activities was discussed, and Mr Morgan assured Mr Solana of Seychelles’ support for the EU’s Navfor operation against piracy. 

Mr Morgan explained the concerns of Seychelles should pirate activities continue. He stressed the economic implications for the country and the effects on the fisheries sector and exports to the EU.

Seychelles is in the process of signing a Status of Forces Agreement with the EU, and similar agreements are being negotiated with the US, British and Indian governments.

Mr Solana mentioned that the EU and its allies, including the United Nations, are trying to establish mechanisms for global cooperation and to be more effective collectively. They are most willing to cooperate with Seychelles in an attempt to find a solution to the problem.

Never before has the EU engaged in such a collective military operation involving other nations including the US, Russia, Japan, China and India, he said. 

The issues of Somalia and piracy were high on the agenda at a recent conference held by the EU in Brussels, together with the UN. The position of Seychelles on the piracy issue was also discussed by a working group at the EU Council last week.

Mr Morgan and his delegation also met Stefano Manservisi, director-general for development and relations with ACP states in the European Commission (EC), on the same issue and possibilities for cooperation on infrastructure development in the fisheries and maritime sector, especially at ports.

Mr Manservisi confirmed that steps are being taken by the EC to reshape the help given to Seychelles, and that an adhoc review is also being carried out to increase funds to be channelled through budget support, given the macro-economic situation of Seychelles and the added costs incurred as a result of pirate activities.

The meetings were seen as fruitful for both the Seychelles delegation and for the EU representatives, showing the solidarity between the parties on such common issues as piracy and fisheries.

Mr Morgan also gave an interview to Europe by Satellite (EbS), the press service of the European Council, on the issue of piracy and its implications for Seychelles. 

This interview can be viewed on the European Commission’s audiovisual service website http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm – check the June 3, 5.30pm news.

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *