Seven countries meet in Egypt to discuss piracy in the Red Sea

Other News Materials 20 November 2008 17:47 (UTC +04:00)

Seven countries from the Middle East and Africa met in Cairo on Thursday to discuss ways to stop piracy in the Red Sea after the kidnapping of Saudi supertanker "Sirius Star" with 100 million dollars worth of crude oil on board, reported dpa.

Participating countries will discuss how to share information on piracy cases through a centre that will trace and monitor shipping routes. They are also discussing joint training for their coast guards, according to diplomatic sources.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Djibouti, Sudan, Jordan and Somalia are participating in the meeting. The Arab League and Eritrea will also be observers.

The United Nations will hold another anti-piracy meeting next month, which will include other African and Arab countries.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that Somali pirates have received 30 million dollars in ransom this year alone.

Piracy also represents a threat to the Suez Canal, a major source of income in the Egyptian economy, as some ships may divert around southern Africa rather than going through the canal.