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|Arab Peace and Security Council Reaches no Agreement over Fighting Piracy|
( YEMEN POST STAFF )
Article Date: November 10, 2008
In its second meeting, Arab Peace and Security Council, affiliated with the Arab League, failed to reach an agreement over a united Arab approach to fight piracy off Somalia coasts.
According to informed sources, the meeting ended without reaching any agreement for building a joint Arab force to fight piracy acts in Somalia, the Arab Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The failure of the meeting has bothered Yemen which fears the increased deployment of warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and deploying an Arab force was in the agenda of President Saleh who paid recent visits to the concerned countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
It is worth-mentioning that both Yemen and Egypt called on Arab countries to shoulder the responsibility of protecting the Arab Sea and the Gulf of Aden, especially when there has been increased activity for warships of world powers and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the area.
Diplomatic sources revealed that the matter was widely debated by the participants who argued at length about the participation and financial support of the Arab naval force that was suspected to be deployed to the area.
The same sources added that Yemen and Egypt have previous experience as for protecting the Red Sea security during 1973 October War when Egypt showed a strong will to safeguard the Red Sea waters against any Israeli assaults.
However, the statement issued following the end of meetings called on Arab countries overlooking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to work for establishing powerful forces to protect these waterways against the constant attacks of Somali pirates.
In return, Yemen expressed its fears and concern over the intensive presence of foreign forces deployed by NATO and other countries to the area, claiming to protect sea lanes and trade vessels.
Foreign countries, particularly America and NATO, have intensive presence in the Red Sea, Aden Gulf and Arab Gulf within the frame of U.S. policy of what is known to be 'War on Terror'.
In a recent development, Somali Pirates have kidnapped a Danish commercial ship in Aden's Gulf and this comes as escalation for the ongoing conflict between the pirates and the international forces existing in the Gulf of Aden and Arab Sea.