EU Navfor invites Oman to join information sharing network

Muscat - 

The EU Navfor anti-piracy mission to the region has revealed that it invited Oman to sign up for its Mercury information sharing system, during a recent visit to the sultanate this month by Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, force commander of anti-piracy naval mission.

The Mercury system is an Internet-based secured network used as an alert and coordination by the anti-piracy stakeholders operating in the region, both civilian and military. Run by the Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA), it provides 24-hour a day monitoring of vessels moving through the Gulf of Aden and Northern Arabian Sea.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, EU Navfor officials said that they were approaching all parties in the region with interests in the ongoing fight against Somalia-based pirates to pool their resources and situational awareness for greater effect.

“The meeting was also to talk to Omani authorities about possibly joining the Mercury information sharing system. We also discussed their own counter-piracy operations in the region. We are trying to get all counter-piracy forces to share their information on activities in the region,” said Lieutenant Commander Jacqueline Sherriff, spokesperson at EU Navfor. Lt Cmdr Sherriff added there was a constant dialogue with regional nations, including Oman, in a bid to prevent pirates from attacking vulnerable commercial shipping.

“These meetings take place a lot when ships are in port.”

At the time of the visit, which ran from June 11 to 13, officials confirmed Rear Admiral Dupuis held a series of one to one meetings with Rear Admiral Mohammed al Farsi, deputy commander of the Royal Navy of Oman, and Colonel Badr al Zadjali, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard.

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