PARIS (AFP) – Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday that Moscow hopes to deploy reconnaissance planes at a French base in Djibouti to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa.
Serdyukov spoke after meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris, where he said they “talked about deploying reconnaissance planes at the French base in Djibouti”.
Serdyukov added that France and Russia were already conducting “joint patrols in the Gulf of Aden” in the fight against sea piracy, and both ministers said they wanted to continue cooperating on anti-piracy efforts.
Djibouti hosts several countries’ operations against pirates based in neighbouring Somalia, including the French base and a US one.
Last week, the International Maritime Bureau announced that sea piracy had fallen to its lowest level since 2008 as robust international action deters attacks by Somali pirates.
The maritime watchdog added, however, that Somalia’s waters remain extremely high-risk.