Rear Admiral Li Xiaoyan, commander of the 13th escort taskforce of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), met and exchanged views with Italian Rear Admiral Antonio Natale, commander of the NATO Task Force (NTF) 508, on the "Huangshan" guided missile frigate on the morning of February 19, 2013, local time.
During the meeting, Li Xiaoyan spoke highly of the important role that the NTF 508 has played and the actual results it has achieved in maintaining the peace and tranquility of the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, and expressed his gratitude to the NTF 508 for its help and support for the safety of Chinese ships sailing through the waters of the Gulf of Aden.
On behalf of the NTF 508, Natale paid his respect to Chinese naval escort taskforces and expressed his admiration for the achievement the 13th Chinese naval escort taskforce has made since it conducted the escort mission in the waters of the Gulf of Aden. He hoped that the two taskforces would continue to maintain good communication and cooperation and make joint efforts to maintaining the tranquility and stability of the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast.
At the invitation of Natale, Li Xiaoyan boarded the "San Marco" amphibious dock transport ship of the Italian Navy and met and exchanged views with Natale on January 27, 2013.
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