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Chinese navy's escort missions in Somali waters fully successful: envoy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 29 -- The Chinese navy's escort missions in Somali waters have been "100 percent successful" since they started to dispatch escort warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coastal area in January 2009, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Wang Min said here Thursday.

Wang made the remarks at the eleventh plenary meeting of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia.

By the end of March this year, China has dispatched eleven batches of 28 warships to engage in escort missions for 4,543 vessels in 431 batches, more than half of which were foreign vessels, Wang said.

"The escort missions are 100 percent successful," he said.

"We rescued 48 vessels which were attacked and chased by pirates, and escorted eight vessels which were released after abduction," the ambassador said. "These efforts have contributed to the safety and security of Chinese and foreign vessels passing through the Somali coastal area, as well as the shipping and navigation order in the region."

China also cooperated with the European Union on many occasions in escort missions for food-delivering ships of the UN World Food Program, said Wang. Moreover, China successfully held an international escort seminar in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing on February 23.

"China will continue to strengthen coordination and information sharing in military activities with the parties concerned on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing," Wang said.

China welcomes the progress made by the Transitional Federal Government in implementing the Kampala Accord and the Somalia End of Transition Roadmap, and hopes that the relevant parties in Somalia will strengthen cooperation, resolve their disputes, and end the transitional period as scheduled, he said.

He also called on the international community to continue to put great emphasis on the situation in Somalia, provide consistent and comprehensive support to the country on different dimensions and in a wide range of areas, and faithfully fulfill its commitments to assisting Somalia.

The international community should further enhance the capacity of regional mechanisms to respond to the Somali issue, and vigorously support and give sufficient assistance to the coastal countries in their capacity building efforts, said Wang.

In the meantime, it should continue to increase financial, technical and logistical assistance to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and create conditions for the United Nations to take over the tasks of the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia at an early date, he added. Enditem



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