Saudi Tanker Owners in Talks With Pirates
Saudi foreign minister pledges to eradicate Somali maritime threat
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 2:36 PM CST
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, left, speaks during a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini today in Rome.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Negotiations are under way between Somali pirates and the shipping company that owns the Saudi Arabian oil supertanker they hijacked over the weekend, the BBC reports. The Saudi foreign minister could not say whether Vela International might agree to a ransom.

“We do not like to negotiate with either terrorists or hijackers. But the owners of the tanker, they are the final arbiters of what happens there,” said Prince Saud al-Faisal said today. Vela International declined to comment. The tanker contained one-quarter of Saudi Arabia's daily oil output.