Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union has visited the frigate Navarra, which is currently deployed in Operation 'Atalanta'. Borrell, accompanied by several foreign ministers from EU Member States, was received on board by Vice-Admiral José María Núñez Torrente, Commander of Operation Atalanta, and Ángeles Moreno Bau, Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs.
The ship arrived in the Omani capital as part of the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) deployed in the Indian Ocean, and on the occasion of the 27th Joint Ministerial Meeting between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy underlined the success of Operation Atalanta and thanked the Sultanate for its continued support and its vital role in the Operation's success. He also underlined the need for continued cooperation and closer ties between the EU and Council countries to ensure security in the region, citing specifically the area of maritime security.
The Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs at the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated Oman's commitment to work consistently with other countries in the interests of peace and security.
Atalanta is an EU initiative that emerged in response to the Somali piracy crisis of 2008. It is run from its headquarters in Rota and has been continuously manned by navy units for the last fifteen years. It is currently a provider of maritime security in the region, and also plays an important role in naval diplomacy.
The ship, commanded by frigate captain Álvaro Huelin Gan, left Rota on 9 June with 221 people on board. After more than four months deployed, it is scheduled to begin its return to Spain upon leaving Muscat, to be relieved by the frigate 'Victoria'.