The European Union Naval Force and NATO have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in the international fight against piracy.
On February 24th, 2013, the commander of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operation Atalanta and the commander of NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield met together on the Indian Ocean. Rear Admiral Pedro Garcia, a commander of EU NAVOR, held a meeting with Rear Admiral Antonio Natale, a commander of NATO while on patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor. The meeting was held aboard the EU NAVOR flagship ESPS Mendez Nunez.
The two force commanders discussed recent counter-piracy operations and took the opportunity to assure their counterparts that each force is entirely committed to cooperating to put an end to piracy in the Indian Ocean. The two both stressed that information sharing is vital to cooperative efforts in counter-piracy against the problematic Somali pirates.
After the meeting, Admiral Garcia de Paredes shared his thoughts: “Both the EU Naval Force and NATO understand that we need to maintain the pressure on pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. The recent apprehension of two separate pirate groups in the Somali Basin clearly shows that pirates are still active. For this reason, counter-piracy forces and seafarers sailing through the High Risk Area cannot lower their guard. There is no room for complacency.”