DUBAI, April 18 (KUNA) — International Conference for Combating Piracy in Western Indian Ocean and the Coast of Somalia kicked off here Monday with the State of Kuwait among the participants.
Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan delivered an opening address in which he said that this conference for fighting piracy is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf, and it represents an opportunity for making concerted efforts for eliminating threat posed by piracy to the international trade traffic.
Sheikh Abdullah added that this conference represents part of the efforts made by UAE government on fighting piracy, noting that UAE armed forces have joined the international efforts in setting free hostages on the hijacked ships.
Further, he said that UAE liberated this month in cooperation with US Fifth Fleet the hijacked ship of Arrilah I, making clear that fighting piracy cannot be effective except through making a substantial change in the conditions affecting stability and security in Somalia.
Acts of marine piracy off the Somalian coast have recently aggravated with 700 assaults taking place, while more than 2000 sailors have fallen hostages including 790 over the past year who had been subjected to torture at the hands of pirates.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabah, who represents Kuwait at the conference, attended the opening session which was also attended by other top UAE officials including State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash.
There are 60 countries, and international organizations interested in fighting piracy taking part in the conference, besides 100 maritime institutions and firms, ship chartering and insurance companies.
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