September 16, 2008
EU naval operation against pirates?
At a European Council meeting yesterday, European ministers approved "a strategic military option for a possible European Union naval operation" against Somali pirates.
A statement said that the Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive approach to a lasting settlement of the Somali crisis, covering its political, security and humanitarian aspects.
The statement also said:
The Council also reaffirms its serious concern at the acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast and deplores in particular their recent resurgence. As regards the European Union's contribution to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1816 on combating piracy off the Somali coast and to the protection, under Resolutions 1814 and 1816, of vessels chartered by the World Food Program (WFP) and bound for Somalia, the Council has decided to establish, in the next few days, a coordination unit in Brussels with the task of supporting the surveillance and protection activities carried out by some Member States off the Somali coast. To that end, it has approved a plan for implementing this military coordination action (EU NAVCO).
In this context, the Council has also approved a strategic military option for a possible European Union naval operation. The Council would like to see the current planning work press ahead."