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UN chief supports efforts to fight sea piracy

Condemning the acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea wherever they occur, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has strongly supported efforts by member states to fight the scourge.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2008 11:40 IST

Condemning the acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea wherever they occur, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has strongly supported efforts by member states to fight the scourge, including the Indian Navy sinking a suspected pirate ship.

In a statement, Ban said he is working closely with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), NATO, the European Union and others to ensure that international efforts to combat piracy are better coordinated.

"He welcomes the EU's decision to authorise the deployment of a maritime force off the coast of Somalia, and the efforts of individual Member States to send vessels, which will strengthen security in the area," his spokesperson said.

Later this week IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos is expected to brief the Security Council on the latest developments in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa.

Naval escorts from the Netherlands and NATO are providing vital protection for UN World Food Programme (WFP) ships loaded with aid for Somalia, where millions depend on humanitarian aid because of conflict, drought and soaring food and fuel prices, the UN said.

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