Krishna seeks UAE's help for sailors’ release



New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has sought help from his UAE counterpart for securing release of six Indian sailors aboard MV Iceberg, which is in Somalian pirates' captivity for over two years.

Iceberg, which has now become the longest-held ship by Somali pirates, is owned by UAE nationals.

In a letter to the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Krishna has requested the Minister to help secure release of the Indian sailors immediately, an official source said here today.

The six Indian sailors have spent over two years in captivity since March 2010.

One of the 24 crew members died on board last year. The crew includes sailors from Yemen, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Sudan and Philippines.

Media reports in Dubai have said that a breakthrough in negotiations with the Somali pirates is near.

There are more than 200 sailors being held captive by Somali pirates, and 62 have lost their lives since 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The bureau said 43 attacks were carried out by Somali pirates in the first quarter of this year.

PTI