Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi has asked for U.S. help, Somali legislators said Tuesday. But Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, denied any deal.Earlier report saying US Navy had permission to engage the Somali pirates posted here. Fog of anti-piracy war?
"The Somali government did not talk to the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy has no agreement with the Somali government," Brown said.
U.S. Embassy officials in Nairobi declined comment.
UPDATE: More denial of a deal here, this time from the ubiquitous (but anonymous) "State Department official:"
The United States has made no deal with Somalia to run anti-piracy patrols off its coast, an American official said on Tuesday, denying claims by the East African country's prime minister.
"There is no such deal as alleged," said the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We haven't made any arrangement to patrol those waters."
Somalia's transitional prime minister, Ali Mohamed Gedi, earlier said he had secured a "milestone" agreement for US Navy ships to patrol the waters where an increasing number of merchant ships have come under attack.