Taking High Office

Summary: 14 December 2010, Brussels РRear Admiral Juan Rodriguez Garat, from Spain, has taken office as the new EU Force Commander EUNAVFOR Somalia РOperation Atalanta. He succeeds Rear Admiral Philippe Coindreau from France.

On the occasion, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made the following comments:

“I would like to congratulate Rear Admiral Juan Rodriguez Garat on taking office as the new EU Force Commander of EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta.

The EU is leading international efforts against piracy off the coast of Somalia with EUNAVFOR – Atalanta operation. I commend the EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) for its successes in deterring, preventing and disrupting pirates’ activities, especially in protecting World Food Programme and AMISOM shipments.

The EU is concerned with the continuing impact of piracy off the coast of Somalia on international maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region. We reiterate our determination to strengthen the EU’s overall engagement notably to enhance regional capacity to fight piracy.

I would also like to warmly thank Rear Admiral Philippe Coindreau for his dedication and excellent work he has performed during his term as the EU Force Commander of EUNAVFOR Somalia.”

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