The European Union (EU), delegation to Nigeria, says the bloc is seeking to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the Nigerian Navy on Maritime Security.
In a statement on Friday, the delegation said EU took the decision at the first Joint Event on Strengthening Nigeria-EU Cooperation on Maritime Security, which was held in Lagos at the Nigerian Navy Western Naval Command (WNC).
According to the bloc, the event solidifies the close partnership between the Nigerian Navy, the EU and its member states operating in the region.
“In recent years, relations have deepened between the partners through enhanced operational cooperation, joint exercises and trainings, capacity development, as well as increased information sharing and exchange.
“All sides recognise that the incidence of maritime crimes, particularly piracy and armed robbery at sea, has reduced across the region according to International Maritime Bureau Report released in February.
“An intensified presence at sea and the collaborative efforts by Nigeria, the EU and member states contributed to this achievement.”
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It said however, the parties also acknowledged the need to further deepen relations by continued cooperation, and with an aim to keep ensuring freedom of navigation, safety of seafarers, protection of regional resources and coastal communities.
Furthermore it said, Nigeria had taken a leading role in regional coordination through the MCF-GOG SHADE deconfliction group, and that the Nigerian Navy had continuously developed its capacities to secure the open seas.
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It listed such efforts to include the acquisition of new platforms and the Falcon Eye surveillance system.
“The EU has actively been engaging with the Nigerian Navy through the CMP-mechanisms, as well as through regional initiatives such as the YARIS information-sharing platform and with the assistance of the SWAIMS project.
“All sides will continue deepening their relations and reiterate their full commitment to maintaining their constructive dialogue and cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect,” EU said in the statement. (NAN)