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Cablegate: Belgium: Support for Implementation of Unscr 1816

VZCZCXRO7127
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHBS #1065 1970939
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150939Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7692
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0395

UNCLAS BRUSSELS 001065

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT KCRM KCRS KJUS PHSA PREL SO BE
SUBJECT: BELGIUM: SUPPORT FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF UNSCR 1816
(2008) ON SOMALI PIRACY

REF: SECSTATE 74305

1. (U) Belgian MFA officials told econoff Belgium supports
efforts to protect shipping from piracy off the Somali coast.
The officials consider UNSCR 1816 a good resolution and hope
useful action results in the next six months and/or the time
period will be extended. They noted that France and Spain
just made a joint demarche asking for Belgium's support
toward a united EU effort to stop the piracy. Officials
appreciate the U.S. emphasis on resolving how to handle
persons under control. They cite the difficulties France is
having trying to find a court to prosecute those they
recently took into custody. Under Belgian law, there must be
a direct link to a Belgian entity for pirates to be tried in
Belgian courts. It would be best to look to the neighboring
countries to prosecute and incarcerate. Belgium is more than
willing to provide moral support to countries active in
interdicting the piracy.

2. (SBU) On the issue of providing practical support to
interdiction, Belgian Defense and Foreign ministries have
taken an informal look at the availability of the country's
sole available frigate (the other one is in drydock) in the
future. For now, the frigate is promised to UNAFIL, but it
might be available to patrol off the Somali coast by late
summer 2009 if intervention still would be needed. Officials
emphasized no political decision had been made regarding the
frigate, but they are looking into options.

FOX
.

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