During a recent visit to Yemen, Commodore Asif Khaliq, Pakistan Navy, who is currently the Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, met Brigadier General Fouad S Basuleman, Acting Chairman Yemen Coast Guard at the Coast Guard Headquarters.
Dr Diyar Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan, Colonel Amen A.S. Alansei, Director Yemen Military Cooperation and several senior officers from the Yemeni Coast Guard were also present at the meeting. Upon arrival Brigadier General Basuleman warmly welcomed Commodore Khaliq and congratulated him for being in command of CTF 150.
Colonel Shujaa A. Almahdi, Director Coast Guard Yemen, gave a detailed presentation highlighting the importance of the Gulf of Aden, maritime threats, illegal immigration, and weapon/drug smuggling. He also briefed the Yemen Coast Guard security plan and mechanism for sharing information.
Commodore Khaliq thanked the Chairman for his warm sentiments and commented that his visit was part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) regional engagement plan, designed to enhance coordination between regional countries and CMF. He explained that CTF 150‘s task was to deny international terrorists the ability to use the maritime environment as a means to attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other illicit material.
Brigadier General Basuleman said, ”During recent times, the political situation in the Arab countries in general and Yemen has had an impact on Yemen and the Yemen Coast Guard. Drug trafficking, human smuggling and weapon smuggling from Africa to Yemen, piracy and other crimes remain the major issues for the Yemen Coast Guard.”
He emphasised the joint efforts to curb this menace and provided assurance that Yemen would continue its cooperation with CMF. The meeting included a detailed visit of the Yemen Coast Guard Operations Room, during which the Director of Operations highlighted the need for Yemen to upgrade the communication infrastructure for sharing information.
The meeting afforded an opportunity to emphasise the need for close coordination between CMF and the Yemeni Coast Guard, and all parties agreed that the challenges to maritime security in the region could be better addressed through cooperation amongst regional countries and CMF.
Yemeni military leadership reflected a highly positive approach towards the activities of CMF and expressed a willingness to continue its support to maritime security operations.