Pirates on radar for Dubai talks
Global leaders are to sit down in Dubai for discussions on piracy, which the UAE’s foreign minister yesterday described as “a global concern”.
Already this year pirates have hijacked 13 vessels and 197 sailors have been kidnapped - with an estimated global trade cost of $12billion a year.
Announcing June’s conference yesterday, the second of its kind in the UAE, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The UAE believes that maritime piracy, notably in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, remains of serious global concern.
“Pirate activity off the coast of Somalia continues to plague our region. Attacks by pirates endanger the lives of hundreds of seafarers, just as they undermine the prosperity and livelihoods of Somalia, its immediate neighbourhood and the world.
“This is the second time that the UAE is inviting foreign ministers, industry leaders and international experts to meet together in Dubai, and to coordinate our international response. We are doing so because we continue to believe that an enhanced counter-piracy response can be achieved through greater regional and international engagement.”
Meanwhile, Somali pirates released the MT Enrico Levoli and its 18 crew this week after it was hijacked en route from the UAE to the Mediterranean four months ago.
The Italian-owned tanker left Fujairah in December carrying 15,750 tonnes of caustic soda and had been scheduled to rendez vous with Chinese armed forces - who were to provide protection on the high seas - when it was attacked off the Oman coast on December 27.
It was not clear whether a ransom had been paid.