x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE minister backs improving Somalia's justice system to fight pirates

Faris Al Mazrouei tells meeting of six nations that he hopes a programme can be put in place to improve Somalia's justice system.

ABU DHABI // The UAE assistant minister of security has backed calls for a new international system to make it easier to bring pirates to justice.

Faris Al Mazrouei, the assistant minister for security and military affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs, said at today's meeting of a six-nation Contact Group that he hoped a programme could be agreed on, to help Somalia improve its justice system.

He told the meeting of senior security officials from Italy, the US, Denmark, UK, Egypt, and Netherlands that "as a maritime nation, the UAE is united in its concern at the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia".

Representatives are expected to present and discuss recent developments in their anti-piracy efforts.

Mr Al Mazrouei said the UAE's priorities were in the fields of public awareness and outreach, increasing "compassionate" support to Somalia, enhancing the region's capacity to respond to piracy, and highlighting the role of education in countering piracy.

"We want to spread understanding of the issue and the challenges of responding," he said. "So we can all work together towards solving this problem."

The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was created in New York two years ago following a UN Security Council resolution.

osalem@thenational.ae