India concerned over Somalia sea pirates

United Nations: India has advocated adoption of a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy by the international community to tackle the growing problem of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Somalia here, India`s Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri termed piracy off the coast of Somalia a "serious problem" for the international community.

With Somali pirates holding 19 ships and 331 hostages as of October last year, Puri Wednesday said combating maritime piracy is an important issue intrinsically linked with the security situation in Somalia. He said given the growing scope of the problem, "the international community has to think about adopting a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy," which should involve a "UN-led anti-piracy force to conduct naval operations."

This would help achieve greater coordination in anti-piracy operations by various naval forces. The global strategy should also include enactment of national laws on priority to criminalise piracy and effective sanitization of the Somali coastline along with identifying safe corridors and buffer zones.

"We stand ready to help in capacity building of the Transitional Federal Institutions and the states in the region for effective measures against piracy off the coast of Somalia," he added.

Puri noted that India has taken several steps including anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 and has also deployed its ships in Eastern and North Eastern Arabian Sea, measures which have helped neutralize several piracy attempts.