Somali pirates sneak close to Indian waters

Dubai: Somali pirates have come very close to Indian territorial waters off the Lakshadweep island, a top Indian Admiral has said, calling for a joint and sustained efforts to contain and eliminate them.

Disclosing that the pirates had become highly mobile and adaptive in their hijackings in the high seas, Vice Admiral K N Sushil said that nations in the region needed to pool resources to patrol the high seas.

"Pirates off the Somali coast are highly adaptive. If you patrol the Somali coast, the pirates then move somewhere else.

As we speak, they have gone very close to Lakshadweep Island.

And when we challenge them in Lakshadweep they go down to Madagascar," Sushil said.

The Admiral is leading a three warships INS Tir, INS Krishna and ICGS Veera on a goodwill visit to Saudi Arabia.

The naval ships have docked at the Saudi port of Jubail.

Talking to media on board the flagship INS Tir, the Admiral said currently 14 navies were conducting anti-piracy patrols along the Somali coast, and said India looked forward to increase cooperation with Saudi Arabian and forces of Gulf countries to confront the pirates.

Indian Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad who was present on board the warship said, the visit of the naval ships was part of a regular engagement that India has with the Gulf region.

"The Indian Navy has always been on goodwill visits here in order to affirm our presence and our deep interest in what is happening here in this region," he said.

"We have enduring interests. They are linked with our energy interests, our economic interests, and the presence of our community," he said adding, India is in the process of developing a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia to improve political, security, defense, economic and cultural ties.