EUNavfor delegation in talks on anti-piracy fight


19-September-2012

The EUNavfor delegation with President Michel yesterday at State House


Mr Potts said the mission of the delegation is to hold talks with leaders in Seychelles, which is one of the EUNavfor’s key partners in the region.

“Seychelles though being right in the middle of the high risk area for piracy plays an important and key international leadership role in the fight against piracy,” said Mr Potts.

He noted that he has discussed with the Seychellois authorities various issues related to the fight against piracy.

This included the enormous amount of support Seychelles provide the EU forces such as support for maritime patrol aircraft, logistic support to the ships operating in the Indian Ocean as well as support for prosecuting and incarcerating pirates.   
 
“I recognise the leading role Seychelles is playing in the Indian Ocean region in countering piracy,” added Mr Potts.

Progress made in the fight against piracy was also discussed and he noted that there are a number of factors for that and these include the international maritime forces being more proactive in chasing the pirates and disrupting their activities, as well as the progress being made on the ground in Somalia.

The plight of the two Seychellois hostages -- Marc Songoire and Rolly Tambara -- also featured highly in the discussions and Mr Potts noted that like the government, the EU is also very concerned about their situation and they are together working hard to secure their release.

He said the EUNavfor will continue its operation in our region adding that people analysing the statistics on the incidence of piracy could easily think that the problem is solved but this is not the case as the root causes of the problem is in Somalia.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, who accompanied the delegation at State House, told the media  afterwards that the delegation’s visit had provided the opportunity to review progress that has been made since the London conference on Somalia earlier this year and to which President James Michel was invited.

“We have noted the progress made,” said Mr Adam.
He noted for instance that the EUNavfor operations have been much more efficient.

But with regard to the release of hostages held by Somali pirates, Mr Adam said like other countries Seychelles is also facing the same difficult challenges as pirates harden their positions as the overall operation against piracy become more successful.

But Minister Adam stressed that there is still hope for the release of the hostages because as the operations against pirates become more effective, the government is exploring various opportunities on several levels including better intelligence and interventions.
“We are optimistic but also realistic,” said Mr Adam. 

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