NATO warships will for the first time visit South East Asia, including Karachi, Pakistan and Singapore later this month, the 26-member alliance has said in Brussels in a statement.
"The deployment of warships in South East Asia demonstrates the high value NATO places on its relationship with other partners across the globe. It will include a visit to Karachi in Pakistan, before sailing on to Singapore to take part in the IMDEX 2009 Exhibition and Conference at the invitation of the Republic of Singapore Navy," it noted.
The five NATO ships from Canada, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the US will then sail to Perth in Australia.
On their way to South East Asia, the NATO ships will take part in the first phase of anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.
The operation called "Allied Protector", which was launched on Tuesday (March 24) under the command of Portuguese Rear Admiral Jose Pereira da Cunha, will assist in international efforts to deter, defend against, and disrupt pirate activities off the Horn of Africa, the alliance said on Wednesday.
The second phase of the anti-piracy operation will take place when the NATO ships make the return journey towards European waters at the end of June, EuAsiaNews reported.