Steinmeier strengthens calls for action against pirates

Steinmeier strengthens calls for action against pirates
The next victim, a Chinese fishing boat is captured. Photo:DPA
The German government has reiterated its calls for action against the pirates operating along the coast of Somalia, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier saying this weekend, “We have to act urgently.”

He told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, “We need to finally regain secure sea routes around the Horn of Africa.”

Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said he wanted to see the European nations working together to create a legal basis for any action.

“There must be a robust mandate which will help to scare them off, and enable an effective basis for dealing with this,” he told the paper.

But the pirates holding sway over the supertanker Sirius Star have warned they would fight back if force were to be used to try to take it back.

“We would defend the tanker if we were to be attacked,” Abdiyare Moalim, one of those involved, told the news agency AFP.

He said he and his comrades did not want to damage the ship or hurt the crew, but wanted €20 million from its Saudi owners.

Although Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Saud el Faisal has dismissed calls to talk, Moalim has claimed negotiations are taking place.