Major General Charlie Stickland, EU NAVFOR Operation Commander recently visited His Excellency (H.E) Adam Kulach, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Djibouti and H.E Mahmoud Ali Youssuf, Djiboutian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Djibouti.
During the meetings the General raised the importance of the continued effort to suppress and deter piracy through the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb straights. In the discussions, the General thanked the Djibouti government for the support provided to EU NAVFOR by hosting the German and Spanish Maritime Patrol Aircraft Detachments and by facilitating port visits of EU NAVFOR warships.
Following the discussions with the Minister, the General visited the Djibouti Coast Guard and Navy where he met sailors who are regularly embarked on board EU NAVFOR warships as advisors and interpreters. EU NAVFOR crews often train with the local maritime forces when they visit Djibouti enhancing capability and professionalism.
EU NAVFOR continues to protect vulnerable vessels of the UN World Food Programme throughout the area, maintaining a presence to deter and repress piracy off the Horn of Africa. Ongoing interactions such as these between European Union and regional actors are essential for maintaining close relationships across the maritime community, creating a safer environment for seafarers.