India concerned over piracy menace from Somalia
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 20:31
  
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 protracted crisis.

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.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 20:31


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