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|December 3rd, 2009, 12:43 PM||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Paris To Help KL Fight Piracy
December 03, 2009 19:25 PM
LANGKAWI, Dec 3 (Bernama) -- Paris, which has a long and established military relationship with Kuala Lumpur, is extending its cooperation in combating piracy in the region, French Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Thursday.
Speaking through a translator, he said, France hoped to strengthen the bilateral relationship by complimenting Malaysia's efforts to fight piracy in the regional waterways.
"We understand that Malaysia is playing a key role in fighting piracy in this region. Thus, we will give our priority in helping Malaysia to achieve it," he said at a press conference after visiting the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2009 here yesterday.
Earlier, Morin met his Malaysian counterpart, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The French defence minister said France had also invited Malaysia to join forces in 'Operation Atlanta' to fight piracy in the Somali waters.
He said that the operation launched in December last year, was aimed at protecting the United Nations food aid shipment to Somalia and combat piracy in the region.
Morin said, France had been discussing with Malaysia on the kind of cooperation that the two countries could engage in -- to fight piracy -- and the possibility of integrated maritime exercises.
To a question on France's role in Afghanistan, he said that France might be involved in training local security forces and institutions.
�If France were to make any additional commitment, it will be in the form of training the Afghan army, police and government institutions," he said when commenting on a report that the United States had asked France to send an additional 1,500 troops.
He said France would need time to assess the situation in Afghanistan before providing a "good" answer on the country's role there.