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Summit to address Somali pirate threats

CAIRO , May 1 (UPI) -- Countering the escalating threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden will be the focus of an emergency international summit scheduled to take place in Cairo.

Organizer Phoenix Intelligence Support Services Inc. says officials from seven countries in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa region and elsewhere along with international and private sector agencies are expected to take part in the summit.

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Officials say participants in the summit will discuss ways to address the spike in piracy off the coast of Somalia in the short term and begin developing plans for a long-term solution to the problem.

"This international conference will bring together for the first time key decision makers and experts with real solutions, that will be reflected on the sea, as well as on the ground, within a very short period of time, rather than just a discussion forum, on this important issue," William Fielding, managing director of Phoenix Intelligence Support Services anti-piracy unit, said in a statement.

Despite an increase in international attention to the volatile Somali coastal region, critics including the International Crisis Group have called for a focus on solving the root causes of the piracy: Somalia's failed state.

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The anti-piracy summit is scheduled to take place at the end of May.

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