Salman Khurshid assures families to help release of sailors abducted by Somali pirates

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 15:30 hrs

Union External Affairs Minister (MEA), Salman Khurshid on Tuesday met the stressed family members of sailors abducted by Somali pirates and assured them that the government is making untiring efforts to find a solution to get those sailors released in strategically.

Talking to reporters after the meeting Khurshid said: "We are deeply involved and trying to find a solution but I urged and requested them to hope for the best and we will do whatever we are doing in the strategic terms to ensure that those sailors get released from the custody of the people, who have kept them hostage."

"An inter-ministerial group is closely watching for some time now. I went to the Nigerian Embassy this morning and flagged the issue again. Indian Navy is now patrolling and escorting through the vulnerable areas. I think we might be able to say that there has been an improvement in the situation in terms of taking protective measures," said Khurshid.

Asked about whether Indian government is trying to communicate with Somali pirates, Khurshid said: "It is our policy that we don't negotiate with the people directly involved in it, we talk with the countries involved."

Earlier in the day, the family members of those captives staged a protest outside the Shipping Ministry in New Delhi and demanded immediate release of the sailors.

About 17 sailors have been held captive by Somali pirates off the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, on UAE-owned MT Royal Grace. (ANI)

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