NATO Warships Arrive Opposite Somali Pirates

From Journalist Mohamed Amiin Adow

(CNN) — Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein Sunday welcomed the arrival of seven NATO warships off the coast of his country to help in the battle against pirates in the region.

“We are so delighted with the arrival of those NATO ships into our waters and they have our full consent to fight against the pirates,” the prime minister said at a news conference.

“NATO can carry out any acts including military actions in our waters against the pirates,” he added.

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)

Responding to a request from the United Nations, NATO defense ministers recently authorized the fleet of naval vessels to help protect U.N. World Food Program ships carrying relief supplies to Somalia.

The WFP ships had been protected by Canadian military vessels under a temporary arrangement that expired this week.

The NATO ships will also help “deter acts of piracy that continue to threaten the region,” the alliance said.

It is part of an international effort to curb a spate of Somali pirate hijackings in the past year in the Gulf of Aden, which partially borders Somalia.

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