Somali pirates closer to India, says Parrikar

Somali pirates are shifting their base closer to India due to increasing action against them by naval forces of different countries.

This was disclosed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar while addressing a gathering at an international conference here on the theme of India and the Indian Ocean.

The country, however, has remained watchful and is capable of handling the menace, said Parrikar. Representatives of several other countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) attended the three-day conference. “The countries in the IOR are facing many traditional and non-traditional maritime threats. One among the non-traditional threats is pirates from Somalia. Naval forces from several countries are neutralising them regularly, which has forced them pirates to shift their locations closer to India. The countries in the IOR should come together to fight both traditional and non-traditional threats,” he said.

Parrikar said the IOR is also important because of its natural resources.  “The region accounts for about 57 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and more than 45 per cent of the world’s gas reserves. Two-thirds of the world's oil trade and one-third of the cargo trade is conducted through the Indian Ocean,” he said.

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