Turkey committed to fighting Somali piracy

Turkey will continue to support international maritime efforts to curb piracy off the coast of Somalia, foreign ministry said in a written statement on Friday.
“Turkey, in cooperation with the international community, will resolutely continue its humanitarian, security-related and developmental aids to Somalia and its people, and continue its support to fight against piracy,” the statement said.

The statement reiterated that the Turkish Parliament on Thursday extended the mandate till February 2015 of its naval forces operating in the Bay of Aden, Arabian Sea and adjacent waters to fight piracy.

Stressing that piracy is an issue pertaining to international security, the statement said, “The problem [of piracy] not only threatens security of life and property, but also endangers international seafaring and liberty of navigation.”

A major threat to international shipping for over a decade, piracy in Somalia peaked in 2011 when there were more than 150 attacks on ships. 2013, however, saw a major decrease in Somali piracy, as only 15 incidents were attributed to Somali pirates, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com