Diplomatic efforts to fight piracy; IMG to act as apex forum
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Last Updated: Friday, March 11, 2011, 14:00
New Delhi: With 53 Indians being held by Somalian pirates, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Friday decided on a slew of medium and long term measures including stepped up diplomatic efforts and coordination between navies of India and friendly countries to fight the menace of piracy.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to set up an Inter Ministerial Group under the Cabinet Secretary to act an apex forum to monitor early release of Indian ships or crew or cargo.

"The Cabinet Committee on Security met today and considered proposals with regard to conduct of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in Lok Sabha.

"The Committee approved a series of measures which will be taken by the government to address the legal, administrative and operational aspects of combating piracy. A broad policy framework covering all these aspects was approved," he said, adding this would involve medium and long term actions to be taken by Ministries of Shipping, External Affairs and Defence.

He noted that as many as 53 Indian sea-farers on five ships are still in the captivity of Somalian pirates.

The meeting decided to intensify diplomatic efforts through consultations with Governments of Egypt and UAE where the owners of the vessels concerned reside, as also governments of other nationalities who were also being held hostage.

Government also decided to intensify diplomatic efforts at the multilateral level and within the UN framework.

The CCS also decided to formulate suitable standard operating procedures for the Indian Navy and coordination of its activities with its counterparts of friendly foreign countries in the Gulf of Aden, Krishna said.

On the Inter Ministerial Group, he said it would monitor early release of Indian ships and crew and consider welfare measures necessitated after the release of the captured Indian nationals.

The CCS expressed sympathy with the families of the hostages and decided that the government would take all appropriate actions to safeguard their welfare, Krishna said.


First Published: Friday, March 11, 2011, 14:00

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