REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Deputy Secretary General for Economy and Global European External Action Service (EEAS) Issues, Christian Leffler, said that the European Union will take the initiative to conduct security patrol cooperation in the Indian Ocean, particularly off the Somali coast.
"The Indian Ocean is a trade path for the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member countries. The patrol is aimed at tackling piracy, protecting ships, and securing the shipping lanes," Leffler stated in a discussion here on Wednesday.
He noted that some IORA countries still have imbalances in economic growth, one of which is Somalia, which is prone to conflict.
Piracy keeps taking place in Somali off coast, disrupting trade among the IORA members and other countries. India and China's navy will be involved in the patrols, he noted.
The EU has been cooperating with the African countries in the fields of trade and development capacity, Leffler added.
"The African countries are prone to conflict, but they have natural resources," he said.
Earlier, the heads of state and representatives of 21 IORA member countries signed the Jakarta Concord at the IORA Leaders' Summit held in Jakarta on March 7, 2017.
The document titled "Promoting Regional Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean" was aimed at laying the foundation and determining the direction of cooperation of the Indian Ocean Countries in the coming years.
In the document, the members expressed their commitment to establish a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indian Ocean through cooperation in various fields with multiple priorities, namely promoting maritime security, improving cooperation in trade and investment, promoting management and development of sustainable and responsible fisheries, improving disaster risk management, strengthening academic, science and technology cooperation, encouraging tourism and cultural exchanges, implementing blue economy, and empowering women's role in economy.
To implement the priorities contained in Jakarta Concord, IORA countries have also approved an Action Plan 2017-2021 which lays out activities related to those priorities for the coming years.
IORA consists of Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Meanwhile, Britain, France, Germany, USA, Egypt, Japan, and China as partner countries.