Baalu conveys best wishes for safe journey to Stolt Valor crew

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (UNI) Union Minister for Shipping, Road, Transport and Highways T R Baalu today expressed happiness at the release of all crew members of merchant ship Stolt Valor by Somalian pirates and conveyed his best wishes for their safe journey home.

Official sources informed that the ship, sailing under Hong Kong Flag, was released early morning, along with 18 Indian nationals and four foreigners. The vessel has sailed for Mumbai, the sources added.

MT Stolt Valor was hijacked by Somali pirates near the Gulf of Aden on September 15. The entire issue was complicated by the fact that the ship owner was a Japanese, flag Hong Kong, Charterer Norwegian and the crew mainly Indians.

Mr Baalu had earlier met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the steps to be taken with regard to this issue. The matter was also discussed with the Defence Ministry. A delegation under Capt PVK Mohan, Chairman National Shipping Board, had also visited Japan in this connection.

UNI GL RR CS2304

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