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Somalia to allow Iranian vessels to fight piracy in its waters

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 (KUNA) The Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) on Wednesday officially informed the Security Council that it has agreed to Iran's decision to dispatch two naval vessels to the region off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden, affected by piracy, in order to carry out protective escorts and anti-piracy related operations according to relevant council resolutions.
In a letter addressed to the council president, Russia, Somali UN envoy Elmi Ahmed Duale explained that Iran wishes to cooperate with the Somali Government in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, which is "acceptable to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia." He said the Iranian naval vessels are expected to remain in the region of operation until 21 October 2009. He also noted that the Iranian vessels will protect and escort the ships that are "related to Iran or Iranian citizens and shipping companies and will assist other foreign vessels requesting help." (end) sj.ajs KUNA 201822 May 09NNNN