Council of the European Union — 3023rd Council meeting Part I

The Coun­cil com­mends Oper­a­tion Ata­lan­ta for its suc­cess­es in deter­ring, pre­vent­ing and dis­rupt­ing pirates’ activ­i­ties, espe­cial­ly in pro­tect­ing World Food Pro­gramme and AMISOM ship­ments. The Coun­cil agrees to pro­long the oper­a­tion for anoth­er two years until Decem­ber 2012. The Coun­cil intends to have a strate­gic dis­cus­sion on the oper­a­tion in ear­ly Autumn as part of the EU’s com­pre­hen­sive engage­ment in the region. The Coun­cil also agrees in prin­ci­ple to extend the Area of Oper­a­tions fur­ther to its East and South in order to respond to the increased range of pirates’ attacks. It strong­ly encour­ages the inter­na­tion­al mar­itime com­mu­ni­ty to fur­ther pro­mote full adher­ence to rec­om­mend­ed best prac­tice in order to con­tin­ue increas­ing its capac­i­ty to meet its respon­si­bil­i­ty to keep its ves­sels safe.

The Coun­cil wel­comes the ongo­ing engage­ment of the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive with coun­tries of the region in order to pro­mote the devel­op­ment of region­al coop­er­a­tion to fight pira­cy. It also wel­comes the region­al min­is­te­r­i­al con­fer­ence on pira­cy con­vened by the HR in the Sey­chelles on 21 May sup­port­ing the process of forg­ing region­al solu­tions. The Coun­cil reit­er­ates the EU´s com­mit­ment to help coun­tries in the region to enhance their capac­i­ty to facil­i­tate the pros­e­cu­tion and deten­tion of sus­pect­ed pirates con­sis­tent with applic­a­ble inter­na­tion­al human rights law. The Coun­cil com­mends Kenya and the Sey­chelles for their coop­er­a­tion and invites oth­er coun­tries in the region to engage in these efforts. The Coun­cil encour­ages the ongo­ing efforts by the HR to find sus­tain­able solu­tions to avoid impuni­ty for crimes of pira­cy and looks for­ward to con­crete progress on that issue. The EU stands ready to con­tin­ue coop­er­at­ing with the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty in a coher­ent man­ner, in par­tic­u­lar with­in the Con­tact Group on Pira­cy off the Coast of Soma­lia and looks for­ward to the report in this field by the Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of the Unit­ed Nations, as request­ed in UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1918.

The Coun­cil stress­es that an endur­ing solu­tion to the threat of pira­cy off the coast of Soma­lia and in the Gulf of Aden can only be reached by build­ing on Soma­li own­er­ship and address­ing the under­ly­ing secu­ri­ty and devel­op­men­tal chal­lenges in Somalia. 

Recall­ing its con­clu­sions adopt­ed in July and Decem­ber 2009, the Coun­cil reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to a com­pre­hen­sive approach in address­ing the Soma­li cri­sis. It reit­er­ates its sup­port to the Dji­bouti process and the Tran­si­tion Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment and wel­comes the agree­ment signed by the TFG and Punt­land, includ­ing the mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing of April 2010 address­ing pira­cy and the agree­ment of March 2010 with Ahlu Sun­na Wal´Jamaa. The Coun­cil also wel­comes the out­come of the Istan­bul con­fer­ence and the work of the UNSRSG Ould Abdal­lah. The Coun­cil encour­ages con­tin­ued con­struc­tive engage­ment from all regions of Soma­lia. Build­ing on the “EU pol­i­cy on the Horn of Africa- towards a com­pre­hen­sive EU strat­e­gy” Coun­cil doc­u­ment from 2009 and the Com­mis­sion com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the Horn of Africa from 2006, the Coun­cil invites the HR and the Com­mis­sion to make pro­pos­als for a com­pre­hen­sive EU strat­e­gy for rela­tions with the Horn of Africa as a basis for con­tin­ued coop­er­a­tion with region­al partners.” 

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