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Cablegate: International Maritime Org Seeks Unsc Support On

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DE RUEHLO #2834/01 2041549
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231549Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4593
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RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 0598
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0954
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME PRIORITY 0014
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1176
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002834

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE IO/T FOR LAURENCE TOBEY
L-OES FOR J. ASHLEY ROACH
AF/E FOR N GAREY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MOPS SO UK
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORG SEEKS UNSC SUPPORT ON
SOMALIA PIRACY

REF: LONDON 02302

1. (SBU) International Maritime Organization
Secretary General Mitropoulos sent a letter on July 18

SIPDIS
to Ambassador Tuttle expressing appreciation for the
USG support at the last IMO Council meeting to address
the worsening situation of piracy and armed robbery
against ships in the waters off the coast of Somalia
(reftel). The IMO SecGen's letter also requests
further support when the matter comes up for debate at
the UN Security Council. Text of letter at para 2.

2. (U) Text of July 18, 2007 letter from IMO
Secretary General Mitropoulos to Ambassador Tuttle:

SIPDIS

18 July 2007

Excellency,

I have the honour to refer to the worsening situation
of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the
waters off the coast of Somalia and address you in the
context of a recent request of the IMO Council that
the matter be brought to the attention of the United
Nations Security Council.

By way of background, I would mention that, upon the
instruction of the IMO Assembly, this matter was first
brought to the attention of the Security Council in
November 2005 (resolution A.979(24) refers, copy
attached). Subsequently, the President of the
Security Council issued a Statement dated 15 March
2006 (document S/PRST/2006/11 refers - in particular,
the 11th paragraph thereof, copy attached), which must
have certainly played a positive role in the notable
reduction of such attacks in the past year.

Regrettably, since the beginning of the current year,
there have been renewed attacks against ships in the
same area (especially attacks on ships carrying
humanitarian aid, such as those operated under the
auspices of the United National World Food Programme
(WFP)), resulting in loss of life, hijacking of ships,
kidnapping of innocent crew, loss of humanitarian aid
cargoes and demands for ransom.

The attackers invariably follow two patterns:

- they either attack ships on the high seas, not
unusually at considerable distances from the shore,
allegedly making use of "mother ships"; or

- they attack (and hijack) ships in Somalia's
territorial sea, sometimes under the

watchful surveillance of warships outside those
waters, which are, however, not empowered to intervene
for international law reasons.

In the light of these worrying developments, I brought
the issue to the attention of the IMO Council at its
recent ninety-eighth session (25 to 29 June 2007),
which, sharing my concerns, authorized me, through the
UN Secretary-General:

(1.) to seek the further engagement of the United
Nations Security Council to promote and facilitate the
international community's efforts to combat acts of
piracy and armed robbery against ships sailing in
waters off the coast of Somalia and, in particular,
ships carrying humanitarian aid to the country; and,
more particularly,

(2.) to invite the Security Council to request the
Transitional Federation Government of Somalia to take

LONDON 00002834 002 OF 002


action, as it may be deemed necessary and appropriate
in the circumstances, to prevent and suppress acts of
piracy and armed robbery against ships, including
consenting to ships, as defined in Article 107 of the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (i.e.
warships and ships on Government service), operating
in the Indian Ocean, entering its country's
territorial waters when engaging in operations against
pirates or suspected pirates and armed robbers
endangering the safety of life at sea, in particular,
the safety of crews on board ships carrying, within
the WFP's programme, humanitarian aid to Somalia or
leaving Somali ports after having discharged their
cargo.

The support of your country's delegation at last
month's IMO Council session was most heartening and,
therefore, I should be most grateful for such further
support when the matter comes up for debate at the
Security Council.

Because of the seriousness and urgency of the matter
(exacerbated by the fact that, according to
information, there are, at present, at least four
ships, with their crew, in the hands of pirates
operating from Somali shores), any action taken to
alleviate the situation will be greatly appreciated.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my
highest consideration.

/s/
E.E. Mitropoulos
Secretary-General

SIPDIS

His Excellency
Mr. Robert H. Tuttle
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
American Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 1AE

End text of letter.

Visit London's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/london/index. cfm
TUTTLE

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