ibnlive » India

Oct 22, 2008 at 12:47am IST

India can't enter Somali waters: Somali envoy

New Delhi: The Indian sailors held captive by Somali pirates are safe. Talking to CNN-IBN, Somalian ambassador made it clear that India cannot enter Somali waters.

The Ministry of External Affairs is optimistic about the 18 Indian crew of the Stolt Valor hijacked and held captive by Somali pirates.

Meanwhile, sources told CNN IBN that negotiations between the owners of the ship and the pirates are on.

The hostages were safe and in touch with their families and the sources were hopeful of a positive end to the crisis.

The sources also added that it was the standard procedure for the owners of the ship to negotiate as they had taken the risk to send their ship through such dangerous waters.

Any kind of rescue operation is risky but it appears that the Indian Navy cannot enter Somali waters.

“India has no legal framework to order its navy to intervene in the waters of Somalia because there is no agreement between India and Somalia and also the Resolution of 1817 doesn’t allow them,” says Ambassador Ebyan Mahamed Salah.

India has once held back from signing the agreement presumably because it was felt there was no need but the hijacking of the Stolt Valor and the risk to other Indian merchant ships and sailors has put a different complexion to the problem.

The navy is now reported to be considering anti piracy patrols off the Gulf of Aden in concert with other countries in the region. These patrols could be coordinated with the patrols being carried out by the US led task force now in the area.

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