London: India on Thursday pledged to help Somalia
in its economic development as New Delhi underlined the need
for stability in the war-torn nation which has become a
breeding ground for pirates.
Addressing the London Conference on Somalia, Minister of
State for External Affairs E Ahamed said India desired
stability in the Horn of Africa state which has been hit by
He said piracy was the "most obvious example of the lack"
of stability there, and hoped the Conference will reflect
India`s concerns on the issue.
"We have also successfully contributed in the information
technology sector in Somalia. We remain committed to helping
Somalia in its development," he said while intervening in the
debate at the conference.
Ahamed noted that several Indians continued to remain
hostage to pirates in Somalia.
"India desires stability in Somalia. Piracy is the most
obvious example of the lack of it.....As I speak, a number of
Indian seafarers remain hostage to pirates in Somalia," he
said without giving details.
"We hope the outcome document of this important
Conference will reflect our concerns over the treatment meted
out to mariners," the minister said.
Indians constitute 7 per cent of all the world`s
seafarers and a manifestation of the Somali predicament has
been the tremendous human cost that these seafarers pay.
The conference is being attended by British Prime
Minister David Cameron, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
and UN chief Ban Ki-moon among officials from about 50
countries and organisations to discuss a roadmap for Somalia.