- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and the Netherlands say they will seek authority for NATO to arrest pirates operating off the coast of Somalia.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Monday and said they will raise the issue soon with NATO.

NATO forces patrolling the Somali coast Sunday disarmed and interrogated a group of pirates, who had tried to hijack a Norwegian-flagged tanker. But NATO later freed them, citing legal issues. Clinton said that releasing pirates “sends the wrong signal.”

The two officials also said that naval operations off Somalia need to be better coordinated. A number of countries have patrolled the Somali coast in addition to NATO and European Union forces.

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