India should have central role in fighting piracy: France

December 5th, 2008 - 11:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) India should have a “central role” in the fight to stop piracy in the strategic waters of the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest waterways, said a top French diplomat. Gérard Araud, director-general of political affairs and security in the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, said here Friday that there should be more coordination between the different nations.

He said that there were different ideas floating around to control the swarms of Somalian pirates who have been targetting commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden. “For example, each country can have its own area to patrol. On a very practical manner, we could have the same frequency so that all the ships are able to communicate,” said Araud.

He noted that there were a number of countries involved in the effort, but added, “India as the main power in this part of the world should have a central role”.

Calling for further discussions, Araud noted that the participants should not only be states, but also the ship owners. “There are a lot of ideas, like having armed teams aboard the ships. You can also have non-lethal weapons given to ships, like very, very strong water guns,” he said.

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