DUBAI // International cooperation is reducing the number of ship hijackings by pirates around the world, a UAE official says.
Abdulkhaleq Al Yafei, a member of the UAE's mission to the United Nations, said that the Emirates would continue to support efforts to drive down piracy further.
The number of pirate attacks dropped by 54 per cent in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period last year, figures released by the International Maritime Bureau show.
In a speech to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, in New York, Mr Al Yafei attributed the decline to a rise in international sea patrols, and greater aid work and political engagement in Somalia.
"This progress should be cause for optimism for the future for all parties," he said.
"The international effort will overcome the global threat posed by maritime piracy."
Theodore Karasik, director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis based in Dubai, said the UAE had played an important role in combating piracy by fostering cooperation.
"The UAE is trying to gain regional attention to end piracy by helping to forge public-private partnerships," Mr Karasik said.
Last month, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, announced the Emirates would contribute US$1 million (Dh3.6m) to help to build a Somali coastguard.
In a statement released through Wam, the state news agency, Mr Al Yafei was also paraphrased as saying UAE support would come "following the end of the transitional period in August".
Somalia is undergoing a period of change, and is expected to move from an unelected interim authority to a fully elected government by August 20.
But in a statement yesterday, the UN Security Council expressed "serious concern" that deadlines were being missed.
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