Daku Mongol Singh
- Mar 7, 2009
Times of IndiaWASHINGTON: In the wake of an American-flagged cargo-ship being attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia
, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
on Friday said the United States has sought the help from more countries for the anti-piracy task force in the region.
"Piracy may be a centuries-old crime, but we are working to bring an appropriate 21st-century response," she told reporters at the State Department press meet.
Terming piracy as a serious matter, Clinton said these people are nothing more than criminals.
"We are looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of what we are doing, including the recruitment of additional partners, to be part of the surveillance work that is done," Clinton said in response to a question.
With the naval vessels of several countries in the region, Clinton said: "We have had some success in coordinating amongst the contributors to this naval task force. The Department of Defence is taking the lead in helping to put together an international task force."
"There are a number of nations now ranging from, of course, the United States to Europe to Asia, including Japan and China and Korea, which have naval vessels in the waters off the Horn of Africa," she said.
"It's important that we come up with an international resolution of this. And we will be consulting closely and widely to determine what else other countries are willing to do and what further steps the international community believes should be taken," Clinton said.
At the same time, she acknowledged that the instability in Somalia is a contributing factor to those who take to the seas in order to board ships, hijack them, intimidate and threaten their crews and then seek ransom.
Earlier in the day, the State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said the US is in touch with a number of nations with regard to this issue.
"It's a growing concern to not just the United States but others who deal with shipping in that area," he said, adding the US military and the militaries of other countries are trying to see what we can do to prevent these types of piracy acts from happening.
In response to a specific question, Wood said India can certainly play an important role in this regard. "I think India certainly could play a role. That's a decision for India," he said.