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Senate committee supports anti-pirate force

The Senate security committee has come out in support of a move for up to 30 Swiss troops to join an anti-pirate force in the Gulf of Aden.

This content was published on June 26, 2009 - 15:39

Didier Burkhalter, a senator from the centre-right Radical Party, said the committee considered participation in the European Union Atalanta mission justified because Switzerland was directly affected.

Twenty per cent of world trade is affected by the pirate attacks, he pointed out. The area is particularly important for Europe's oil supplies.

Opponents of the move believe it undermines Swiss neutrality.

The decision is in line with the position taken on June 17 by the committee's sister group in the House of Representatives.

The Senate's foreign affairs committee has also expressed support for sending a contingent to the Gulf of Aden, but the same committee of the House of Representatives narrowly came out against it.

Parliament will discuss the issue in its autumn session.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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