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Landmark US-Seychelles cooperation for anti-piracy fight

The Seychelles and the United States of America have stated their firm commitment to the coordinated effort in the combat against piracy in the western Indian Ocean.

This follows the arrival of several US military MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAV) aircraft in Seychelles, that will be used for joint anti-piracy surveillance programme, at the request of the Government of Seychelles. This landmark cooperation follows the signing of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in July 2009 with the USA.

The US military invited journalists and members of the High Level Committee on Piracy to view the planes this morning.
The Head of the High Level Committee on Piracy, Minister Joel Morgan has said that with the UAV’s capabilities, there is yet another clear message being sent out to the pirates: that no criminal activities will go undetected.

“This UAV programme specifically, will be able to help monitor large areas and detect the presence of pirates who operate in small boats which are often difficult to spot. This surveillance activity will complement and reinforce the other military assistance we are already receiving. This cooperation is a concrete example of the commitment of the US to improve maritime safety and security in the Western Indian Ocean. This assistance to the people of Seychelles is very well appreciated, ” said Minister Morgan.

A statement was also made on behalf of the US Embassy in Mauritius, by the Public Affairs Officer Mr. Craig White.
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