Germany vows support to UN fight against piracy

November 21st, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 21 (DPA) German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung has promised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon assistance in the fight against piracy off Somalia. In dealing with the surge in piracy in the Gulf of Aden the international community needs a clear operation plan, said Jung during a meeting Thursday here.

“Where German interests are concerned, we will ensure that a condemnation of the pirates takes place,” said the defence minister.

The European Union (EU) is set to begin a mission against Somali piracy Dec 8 with contributions from countries that include France, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Finland.

German parliament, the Bundestag, is to decide in December whether to participate in the EU’s operations.

“With the new mandate of the European Union we can fight pirates still more effectively,” promised Jung.

Germany’s navy has already played a role in deterring three pirate attacks over the past 10 days.

Returning from the Persian Gulf, Germany’s naval frigate the F212 Karlsruhe responded after receiving SOS calls from an Ethiopian and an Egyptian freighter and from a British tanker by dispatching an armed helicopter.

With the helicopter’s arrival, the heavily armed pirates in small motorboats attempting to seize the ships fled.

The United States Thursday was seeking support in the United Nations for a resolution to “extend the authorities” set out in an earlier resolution adopted in June against Somali pirates, according to a US diplomat.

There are approximately 17 vessels in the hands of pirates along with more than 300 crew being held hostage, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

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