Countries lining the Malacca Strait have vastly improved security in the strategic shipping route over the last five years, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific said on Monday.
Adm. Timothy Keating also said that sharing maritime security information among military officials, diplomats, and commercial shipping operators was an integral part of U.S. goals to boost regional stability.
Keating's endorsement of a safer Malacca Strait is welcome news for Southeast Asian countries, who have been fighting perceptions that the vital trade route is vulnerable not only to pirate attacks but also to Islamic terrorists.
Attacks in the Malacca Strait have been on the decline with only 11 cases last year compared to 18 in 2005 and 38 in 2004, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a martime watchdog.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Admrial Keating says security in the vital chokepoint has improved it is reported here: