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Negotiation with pirates ongoing

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Dec 2008: The owners of Masindra 7, a Port Kelang-registered vessel which was seized by pirates in Somalian waters on 16 Dec, are still in talks with the captors over the vessel and crew’s release.

National Security Council secretary Datuk Muhamad Hatta Abdul Aziz said today the government was not involved in the negotiations which were being done by the vessel owners.

“We are only advising the owners. We are not involved in the negotiations. The owners will deal with the pirates directly. We only facilitate negotiations,” he told reporters after the launch of RTM’s Disaster Unit by Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek here.

Asked about the 11-member crew’s fate, Muhamad Hatta said he could not divulge details as negotiations were on-going.

Earlier reports suggested that the vessel was returning to Malaysia from West Asia when the hijacking took place. The vessel did not have any cargo on board. — Bernama


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