Piracy on oceans a growing menace: US Navy secretary

March 28th, 2008 - 4:01 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Maritime security has become a challenge and nations need to come together to combat the growing menace, says Donald C. Winter, secretary of the US Navy. Winter, who was in Mumbai visiting the famed Mazgaon ship building dockyard and meeting top officials from various security agencies, said late Thursday that the collaboration to tackle “terrorism on high seas is the need of the hour”.

“My visit here is to strengthen and foster areas of collaboration in areas like sharing of information, sea transportation and tackling gun-running on high seas between the two nations,” he told reporters here before leaving for New Delhi.

He said the Indian Ocean had always been of interest to the US as it was an important trade link.

“Now we are seeing more piracy on the high seas which has given a rise to a host of problems for the shipping world,” Winter said, adding after a pause, “More and more nations are also seeing a rise in security problems because of this.”

The official was ambiguous about the magnitude of the problem and the time needed for curbing piracy in the high seas. “It is going to take considerable time to curb the growing piracy in oceans,” he said.

Winter said the US Navy was acquiring vessels “across the spectrum”.

“We are building and investing in the making of vessels like small combat ships which can move effortlessly in shallow waters and at the same we are also in the process of inducting ships capable of providing air support.”

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