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|Yemen Launches Regional Center for Combating Piracy|
Al-Omari ( YEMEN POST STAFF )
Article Date: September 08, 2008
Yemen will host a regional centre for combating piracy, which has been on the rise over the last few months especially in the international waters between Yemen and Somalia.
According to the Minister of Transportation Khalid Al-Wazir, Yemen will establish this center in collaboration with 20 countries and International Maritime Organization.
This comes within the country's efforts to restrict piracy activities targeting ships off Yemen's coasts, especially in Aden Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Further, Yemen will host a regional meeting over the period October 23-30 where the participating countries will sign a memorandum of understanding for mutual cooperation between the signing countries to fight piracy.
Malaysian Foreign Ministry requested its Yemeni and Somali counterparts to help release two Malaysian tankers that were hijacked by Somali Pirates last month.
The two tankers were hijacked late last month off Yemen's coasts. Similarly, Japanese, Nigerian, Egyptian and Thai ships have all been hijacked by Somali pirates seeking ransoms.
Malaysia dispatched early this week three navy vessels to the Gulf of Aden to protect its merchant ships after the two tankers belonging to national shipping line MISC Berhad were seized by pirates.
Piracy activities have long been a headache for international navigation in the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and connects Asia and Europe.
Ships and tankers sailing through the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandab Strait, passes by the lawless Somalia, which has been without an effective central government for the last 17 years.Yemen has established coastguard forces and they are supported by foreign countries including France; however, these forces suffer shortage of equipments and inadequate infrastructure, Coastguards Commander Ali Ahmed Ras'ee told the Post in an interview.