US Coordinator for Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Donna Hopkins said, "India is a very important member of the Contact Group and, in fact, chaired a plenary and has more pirates under its custody than any other country.”

"There is almost no littoral country, no naval country, and no major shipping country that has not contributed actively to the contact group. And the two that you've mentioned have been very important partners," she said.

Hopkins said there has been no piracy hijacking off the coast of Somalia since May 2012.

"This is the lowest rate of attempted hijackings in over six years and certainly since the peak of the crisis in 2011. No ships are currently held hostage by Somali pirates, although there remain at least 49 hostages whom the international community is working to free," she said.

She said the remarkable drop in piracy was primarily due to two things: proactive counter-piracy operations by many national navies and missions that are preventing and disrupting pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the eastern Indian Ocean, and better self-protection by commercial ships, including the use of embarked armed security teams.

The CGPCS is a group of countries and organizations with a common interest in eliminating piracy from the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It was constituted in 2009 to facilitate the discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy.


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