Georgia, Tbilisi, November 28 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
Georgian sailors will regain the right to sail within the European Union waters under EU plans to conduct an audit on the matter in summer 2012, the Economy and Sustained Development Ministry of Georgia reported on Monday.
The Ministry said the reforms Georgia has implemented in the field of marine transport and the swift solution of problems with Somalia pirates were among the key topics of Georgian Economy Minister Vera Kobalia's report at an assembly of the International Marine Association held in London.
Ms Kobalia is the first Georgian Minister to have attended such a forum. The Georgian delegation also included Georgian captains who commanded shipsowned by leading international marine transport companies. Teams from 170 countries attended the assembly.
The problem of pirates that Ms Kobalia raised at the forum received a great response. At the moment, Somalia pirates are holding 15 Georgian sailors hostages. The pirates have kidnapped more than 4000 sailors from key marine powers over past four years and she proposed to her colleagues that they work out a coordinated plan of action to resolve this problem.
She said this problem must be solved soon as Somalia pirates have already been joined by their followers from other African countries.
At the assembly the Minister held bilateral meetings with both her Secretary General of the International Marine Association and counterparts from Malta and Cyprus.