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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

PHILIPPINES PRESIDENCY PHOTOGRAPH

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) and Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo (right) sign memorandum in presence of President Gloria Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines (center).

August 4, 2009

United States and Philippines agree to fight piracy

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo have signed the first joint nonbinding Memorandum of Cooperation between the two nations to address the piracy issue. The memorandum was signed in the presence of President Gloria Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines during her recent visit to Washington, D.C.

Piracy is of deep concerns to both nations, since many U.S. vessels have been threatened by these activities, and the Philippines is the world's largest supplier of seafaring labor.

The agreement calls upon both nations to develop best practices to enhance vessel security, conduct drills to ensure seafarers are prepared to respond to acts of piracy, and share information. The two nations will also examine ways to strengthen legislation and regulations to address the piracy problem.


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