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U.S. Daily Press Briefing

U.S. Daily Press Briefing

MR. WOOD: Good morning. Happy Friday to all. I’d like to especially welcome a group of German broadcasters who are here this morning. We look forward to talking with you all after the briefing. So with that, questions?

QUESTION: With the new NATO operations guarding the coast off of Somalia --

MR. WOOD: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Blackwater has said that it’s providing helicopters and some arming of private ships in that region. Is that something that the United States encourages or discourages?

MR. WOOD: Well, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. But obviously, we’re very concerned about piracy that’s taking place off the coast. And there are a number of ships, as you know, from various countries in the region trying to do what we can to prevent this type of piracy from taking place. And we also want to see this situation of the Ukrainian-registered ship resolved. I don’t have an update for you on that, but this is of great concern to the United States and other countries in the region, so –

But with regard to the Blackwater angle, this is the first I’ve heard of that. But look, a lot of countries, institutions, individuals have concerns about what’s going on off the coast. And I don’t have anything more to add to what I’ve said.

QUESTION: I mean, is that – obviously, it’s a kind of private competition to the security issue there.

MR. WOOD: I don’t know that I’d categorize it as that. I mean, I don’t know exactly what role Blackwater is taking at this particular point. But our overall concerns are to try to prevent this piracy from continuing. It’s becoming a growing problem. We’ve been working on this issue and, hopefully, we can make some headway.

MR. WOOD: Anything else? Okay. Thank you all.

ENDS

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