The European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) warship NRP Alvares Cabral has visited the Port of Pemba in Mozambique, where the vessel strengthened ties with Mozambique.
Given the strong relations that exist between Mozambique, the European Union and specifically, Portugal, when NRP Alvares Cabral sailed in to the port, her crew were given a very warm welcome by the Mozambique Authorities and the local population, the EU Navfor said.
With the EU warship at anchor in Pemba bay between June 17 and 21, which is the third biggest natural bay in the world, the EU Force Commander, Commodore Jorge Novo Palma, made a number of official calls ashore. He was warmly welcomed by the Provincial Governor of Cabo Delgado region, the Pemba city Mayor, Maritime Authorities and officers from the Mozambique Navy.
On June 18, EU Navfor Force Headquarters organized a Maritime Security Conference on board NRP Álvares Cabral, attended by representatives from the Mozambique Government, Armed Forces, the Police Force and maritime related companies operating in the region.
During the event, the Force Commander was able to explain the on-going activities of EU Navfor in the framework of the EU’s Comprehensive Approach to the Horn of Africa.
The Mozambique Navy Deputy Commander, Commodore Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse took the opportunity to explain the role of the Mozambique Navy in the western Indian Ocean and emphasized the need for a unity of effort in the region to strengthen regional security for all seafarers and maritime activities.
On June 19, a Joint Maritime Security Exercise was conducted between the EU Navfor flagship and the Mozambique Navy. The exercise was witnessed by the Portuguese Minister of Defence, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, the Mozambique Vice-Minister of Defence, Agostinho Mondlane, the Portuguese Chief of Defence, General Luís Araújo, and several visitors representing the Mozambique Authorities.
Speaking during the exercise, the Mozambique Vice-Minister of Defence agreed that maritime piracy is a transnational threat that requires international co-operation. He very much welcomed the close ties between the EU, Mozambique Authorities and the Portuguese Navy.
Whilst onboard the Portuguese flagship, the Portuguese Minister of Defence took the opportunity to address all Portuguese servicemen and women operating in the EU Naval Force, and congratulated them for “their very successful deployment in Operation Atalanta”.
Before departing the port, a sports tournament was organized in the Pemba Naval Base, where several teams from the Mozambique Navy, Marechal Samora Machel Mozambique Military Academy, NRP Álvares Cabral and Force Headquarters took part in friendly football and basketball matches.
After NRP Alvares Cabral departed Pemba to resume her counter piracy patrols at sea, Commodore Jorge Novo Palma stated “The visit of EU Navfor flagship, NRP Álvares Cabral, to Mozambique allowed us to share common achievements in the fight against piracy with the Mozambique Navy and Authorities. During this first ever visit by an EU Naval Force ship to Pemba, it also allowed us to exchange perspectives on maritime security and opened new possibilities for wider co-operation.”