Italy asks Somali PM's help in freeing ship
01 February 2012, 17:12
Rome - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on
Wednesday asked his Somali counterpart Abdiweli Mohamed Ali for help in
freeing an Italian ship hijacked by pirates in December with 18 crew
members on board.
Monti asked Ali at a meeting in Rome "to do
everything in his power" to liberate the Enrico Ievoli cargo ship, which
has six Italians, five Ukrainians and seven Indians on board, the
government said in a statement.
Ali assured Monti "of his
personal engagement in aiding the liberation of the Italian ship and its
crew, underscoring his government's strong commitment to preventing the
scourge of piracy," the statement said.
The ship, which was
carrying 15 750 tons of caustic soda from the United Arab Emirates to
the Mediterranean, was boarded by pirates on December 27 off the coast
of Oman, just days after another Italian vessel was released.
The same ship had already been attacked by pirates in 2006 off Yemen.
total of three hijacked Italian vessels were freed from Somali pirates
in November and December 2011, two of them reportedly following ransom
The Savina Caylyn, an oil tanker with five Italians and
17 Indians on board, was freed on December 21 after more than 10 months
The foreign ministry denied the government had
paid any ransom and said the liberation was the result of "constant
pressure" on Somali authorities.
In November, the Rosalia D'Amato
cargo ship with a crew of 21 was also released after seven months in
the hands of Somali pirates.
Also in November, British and US
commandos freed another Italian vessel, the Montecristo, with seven
Italians, 10 Ukrainians and six Indians on board.