All necessary means to be used against pirates: India to Somalia

November 20th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) India has told Somalia it will use “all necessary means” against pirates operating against international merchant ships on key shipping routes in the Indian oceans.“We have conveyed through the permanent representative of Somalia in New York (representing the transitional federal government) our desire to use all necessary means against repressive acts of piracy,” ministry of external affairs secretary (east) N Ravi told reporters Thursday here.

India had recently at a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation in London re-tabled its long-standing proposal to set up a UN peacekeeping force to tackle pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

This suggestion had been made after India’s sole warship in the region, INS Tabar, had successfully repulsed attacks on an Indian and Saudi ship on November 11.

“These proposals are under consideration,” said Ravi, adding that something concrete would emerge after consultations.

He noted that there were already two United Nations Security Council resolutions on piracy. UN resolution 1816, approved on June 2 2008, allowed for foreign navies to enter Somalian territorial waters to pursue pirates. This resolution has a six month-long mandate which ends in December, but is likely to be renewed.

Another resolution 1838, passed on October 20, 2008, authorises the use of “necessary means” to combat piracy in international waters.

On Tuesday night, INS Tabar had fired in self-defence on what was described as a pirate “mother ship”, sinking it in international waters, off the coast of Oman.

India is now considering sending more warships to secure the pirate-infested shipping routes, authorities said.

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