NATO engages Partners around the globe in counter-piracy dialogue

  • 14 Sep. 2011 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Sep. 2011 20:11

Representatives from 47 nations and organisations involved in counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean met at NATO Headquarters today to exchange views, share experiences and discuss ways to enhance synergies between their respective efforts in the Indian Ocean.

Participants included representatives from Australia, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. The European Union, which runs Operation Atalanta, the United Nations and the African Union also attended the meeting.

The exchange of views focused on how best to address the piracy threat in the most comprehensive, coordinated and effective manner.

Launched in 2009, NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield complements other international and national counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia and in the wider Indian Ocean. Its current mandate runs until 2012.

‘This is a true international team effort’ NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said, ‘because we are working together, we are having an effect in helping to secure the Gulf of Aden’.

This meeting, the first in such format, marks NATO’s new engagement with partners across the globe on functional issues of shared interest, as laid out in the new Strategic Concept.

‘This meeting is a demonstration of the new NATO and our willingness to promote a spirit of cooperative security’, Anders Fogh Rasmussen underlined, ‘today’s meeting has proven its value, as a flexible format designed to address a real shared challenge in a pragmatic and practical way’.