Saudi Arabia signs Djibouti piracy code.
Anti-piracy operations have been given a significant injection of diplomatic support this week after Saudi Arabia signed the Djibouti code of conduct and Nato extended its naval mission off the coast of Somalia to at least 2012.
While both moves had been widely anticipated in advance, confirmation of continued governmental support has been welcomed as a positive commitment to the protection of shipping from piracy.
Saudi Arabia"s transport minister Jubarah Bin Eid Alsuraisry, signed the code on during an official visit to the International Maritime Organization this week, effectively committing Saudi Arabia to establish laws to criminalise piracy and ensure an ?adequate provisions for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders?.
The Code, which has now been signed by 13 states surrounding the East African hotspot, also provides for the sharing of piracy information, through information-sharing centres to be established in Sana"a in Yemen, Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in the United Republic of Tanzania.
On Wednesday, Nato"s council confirmed that its anti-piracy operation, Ocean Shield, would remain in place at least until the end of 2012. According to the Nato spokesman this decision was based on the assessment that its current operations are making a demonstrable contribution to increasing safety for shipping and reducing success rates for pirates.
According to Nato"s figures, while the number of attacks in 2009 was up over the number of attacks in 2008, the success rate of those attacks was down by 40%.
The Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 will be relieved by Standing Nato Maritime Group 2 on Friday, leaving five ships from UK, US, Italy, Turkey and Greece.