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Foreign assistance `more plausible' to combat Somali pirates: MOFA

Foreign assistance `more plausible' to combat Somali pirates: MOFA

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Foreign Minister Francisco H.L. Ou said Wednesday that seeking foreign assistance could be a "more plausible" method for Taiwan to deal with the rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden than dispatching its own naval vessels to the region.
Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will support any government decision that symbolizes Taiwan's sovereignty, such as the deployment of naval vessels, Ou admitted that such a move would be likely to encounter "technical difficulties." As Taiwan does not have formal diplomatic relations with the nations along the sea lanes that use the Gulf of Aden, he explained, the country's naval frigates could encounter difficulties obtaining permission to use ports along the way for refueling.
As privacy is a global crime, he went on, other ships operating in the area should be willing to reach out and provide assistance to Taiwanese vessels in distress.
While the government is contemplating the feasibility of dispatching warships from its own navy to the area to protect Taiwanese ships from Somali pirates operating there, it is also in discussions with countries such as the U.S. and European Union nations about the possibility of cooperating on the issue, according to government officials.
According to an American Institute in Taiwan statement issued the previous day, the U.S. has discussed with Taiwan the problems relating to the piracy in the waters off Somalia but has noted that the U.S. Navy has a responsibility to render assistance to any vessel in distress anywhere in the world that requests its assistance.
(By Jian Chen)




Updated : 2021-04-22 02:18 GMT+08:00