Through its Crisis Unit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring developments in the situation regarding the oil tanker “Savina Caylyn” owned by Frattelli D’Amato S.p.A., which was attacked and hijacked by pirates on 8 February.
The Savina Caylyn, along with a second Italian ship still being held hostage, is presently anchored off the Somali coast in the company of more than 20 other ships of various nationalities that have also fallen into the hands of the pirates.
At the first news of the attack Minister Frattini instructed the Crisis Unit to use all available operational tools in concert with the other ministries authorised to intervene in situations involving Italians abducted abroad.
Within the scope of its own authority, the foreign ministry launched ,and continues to intensify, political/diplomatic efforts, beginning with diplomatic efforts directly on the ground, that have led to the organisation of two separate high level political missions to the region.
Minister Frattini’s Special Envoy for Humanitarian Emergencies Margherita Boniver travelled to Djibouti and Tanzania to meet with the highest institutional authorities and raise their awareness of the situation, receiving assurances of their maximum commitment to work within a framework of regional coordination to foster a positive outcome to the situation.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Alfredo Mantica later made a mission to Somalia where, in a context made extremely difficult by political/social turmoil, he met with high level authorities both in Mogadishu as well as in Puntland to convey the Italian government’s high hopes in a rapid solution to the hijacking that does not jeopardize the safety of the Italian nationals abroad.
In addition to this painstaking political/diplomatic activity, the foreign ministry’s Crisis Unit is maintaining close contact with the Italian crew members’ families – understandably strained by this painful situation – to whom all information is channelled as it becomes available, in the context of inter-institutional cooperation that is always activated in cases of Italian nationals abducted abroad.
Within the framework of its own authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to monitor the situation closely and to maintain the same reserve with which it confronts all similar situations, sparing no effort to contribute to achieving the swiftest solution possible.