India, Maldives to act together against pirates

India and Maldives decided to undertake coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance to guard strategic sea lanes in the region.

Male: As piracy assumes menacing proportions
in the Indian Ocean, India and Maldives on Saturday decided to
undertake coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance to
guard strategic sea lanes in the region.

The two countries also decided to develop an effective
legal framework to act against the pirates.

The decision was taken during a meeting between Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Maldivian President Mohammed
Nasheed here who agreed to strengthen cooperation to enhance
maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region through
coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance.
The move comes as Somali pirates are venturing deep into
the Indian Ocean and closer to Indian territory to stage
seajackings and more and more of these pirates are being
apprehended by maritime forces.

A joint statement released after the meeting between
Singh and Nasheed said the two sides agreed on "exchange of
information, capacity building and the development of an
effective legal framework against piracy."

They also reaffirmed their "unequivocal and
uncompromising position" against all forms and manifestations
of terrorism.
India recently deployed a Dornier maritime surveillance
aircraft in Male and has been sending a warship or a naval
plane to perform security roles for Maldives in the last two
years.

The two countries also agreed to "enhance bilateral
cooperation on issues of common concern, including piracy,
terrorism, organized crime, drugs and human trafficking. It
was also agreed to intensify cooperation in the areas of
training and capacity building of police and security forces."

PTI

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