SOMALIA:NATO Commander Meets Ministers From Puntland Government

Published: July 12, 2010

Earlier today, Commodore Michiel Hijmans, Commander of NATO’s counter piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield, hosted a meeting on board his flagship, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, for Ministers from Puntland. It was the first meeting between the Puntland Ministers and Commodore Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy), who took up his role 30th of June 2010.
The purpose of the talks was to build on the existing and growing relationship that has developed between NATO and the Puntland authorities. Through these meetings, NATO aims to improve local knowledge and to assist regional states, upon their request, in developing their own ability to combat piracy activities.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of Ports, Fisheries and Counter Piracy, Mr. Said Rage; the Vice Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Mohamed A. Salah; the Director General of Counter Piracy, Mr. Abdirizak Mohamed Ahmed and the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries, Mr. Abdiwahid Mohamed Hersi. Covering a wide range of topics, the talks were aimed at bringing both sides up to date with the significant progress that has been made in countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden. They also covered ways in which further cooperation between NATO and the Puntland authorities could be developed.
During the talks Commodore Hijmans received a telephone call from the President of Puntland, His Excellency, President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud “Farole”. President Farole and Commodore Hijmans spoke about the progress the Farole administration is making to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa and to bring stabilization to Puntland.
Speaking after the talks, Commodore Michiel Hijmans said: “Meetings like this are one of the critical factors to obtain long term successes against piracy in this region.”

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