A consortium of Arab states have set up a joint anti-piracy naval force to prevent the spread of piracy from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea and Gulf.Well, yeah, nature abhors a vacuum.
11 countries met Monday to set up an all-Arab Navy Task Force to deflect the growing threat Somali-led piracy poses to Arab shipping routes, namely oil and gas exports which pass through the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to the Suez Canal on the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
Royal Saudi Naval commander Lieutenant General Prince Fahd bin Abdullah told journalists one of the goals of the force would be "to discuss joint Arab coordination with multinational forces operating in the region to combat piracy and to agree on the mechanisms of the Arab contribution."
The force, to be initially led by Saudi Arabia, will include naval forces from Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The communique issued at the end of the meeting indicated that the size, nature and scope of the forces assigned by each country would be at their discretion.
Arab states have voiced concern over what they perceive to be the increasing encroachment of foreign navies into their regional waters under the guise of anti-piracy efforts.
If this keeps up, it's going to get crowded out there at sea.