Sea Transportation: Suppressing the Red Sea Smugglers


July 2, 2006: Earlier this year, Egypt and Yemen agreed to consider the development of a "Regional Maritime Security" organization for the Red Sea. Recently, they have actually begun talks about the subject. The intention is to establish a loose arrangement between the two countries - and perhaps eventually Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea (and perhaps, dare it be said, Israel?) - to coordinate the collection and exchange information on maritime criminal activity, mainly piracy and smuggling. While piracy is not a major problem, the recent outbreak of piracy off Somalia was a reminder that the threat is still there. Of more immediate interest is a crackdown on smuggling. In addition to the more mundane consumer goods, there are also drugs and terrorists to worry about. All Middle Eastern nations have to worry about Islamic terrorists, who have been discovered using the services of smugglers to move about.


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