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Somalia: Piracy

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the African Union and the EU on measures to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1816; what the UK’s position is on the implementation of the resolution; and if he will make a statement. (226100)

The UK co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1816, which calls for measure to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. The UK also supported a further UN Security Council Resolution, 1838, which calls upon states to deploy naval vessels and aircraft to take necessary action to suppress acts of piracy.

The Government believe that the full implementation of these resolutions is vital to address increasing incidents of piracy and armed robbery in and around Somali waters. We are working through the EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on military options to counter piracy, and on the specific naval contribution the UK could make to such efforts. The EU has established a team to co-ordinate maritime activity in the region and is preparing a naval counter piracy mission off the coast of Somalia, for which the UK will be providing the operation commander and the operation headquarters. We are clear that such efforts must be co-ordinated with other maritime forces in the region, including NATO and Combined Taskforce 150. Options for supporting both UN Security Council Resolutions have been raised with African Union partners during the formal EU-African Union contact meetings.