Washington says Egypt leading piracy battle

Washington says Egypt leading piracy battle

CAIRO: The United States Department of State said that Egypt, the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark are leading the four teams to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden off the Somali Coast. This comes as piracy in the gulf continues to run without much hindrance, although international forces have been stationed in the area in an effort to curtail the hijacking of vessels that travel through the waters upon leaving the Suez Canal.

The department said, in a report that was highlighted by America in Arabic News Agency, that the four nations’ task forces are operating under the auspices of the International Contact Group on Piracy.

The US government explained that Egypt is leading the working group on public information, while the UK is leading a team specialized in military coordination and information exchange.

The United States is to lead a team working to promote self-protection for navigation, while Denmark leads a fourth team, which is working in judicial matters of piracy, the report indicated.

The report, issued Friday, quoted the American Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Political-Military Affairs Thomas Countryman as saying that the United States is working with other countries in order to reach more obvious benchmarks, “what should the captain of the ship be doing” to thwart attack by pirates?

Earlier this year, Somali pirates hijacked a Libyan vessel in the first major international incident in the area in 2010.