US envoy and commanders call on President


01-July-2009

Mrs Blaser later joined the officers – Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta and Commander Brian Moum – on board the guided missile destroyer Arleigh Burke in Port Victoria as they took reporters on a tour of the warship.

Mrs Blaser and her delegation during their call on President Michel yesterday at State House

She said their talks with President Michel were aimed at boosting cooperation with Seychelles. The ship’s visit coincides with the 233rd Independence Day of the US and the birthday of the ship, which was celebrated last night. The American colonies gained independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.

“This will be the first reception we’ve had of this kind here for more than a decade, and it will be a joy to celebrate with the government and the people of Seychelles,” said Mrs Blaser.

She said the talks with President Michel included the ongoing efforts to control piracy in this part of the Indian Ocean, adding that the US has the highest number of ships patrolling this area.

She said it is not the first time the US has been involved in security issues, and their thoughts and prayers are for the three Seychellois still held by pirates in Somalia.

The US is always looking for new ways to develop relations with Seychelles, Mrs Blaser added, saying she is proud of what her country and its people have done together with and for the people of Seychelles.

She named some of the projects that the Joint Task Force for the Horn of Africa (JTFHA) has been involved in here, including work on a number of health centres, orphanages, beaches that needed protection and construction of a mortuary on Praslin.

Rear Admiral Kurta, who is the commander of the JTFHA, and Commander Moum said during their stay here the men and officers on board the destroyer are taking part in joint exercises with Seychelles People’s Defence Forces personnel and both sides are learning a great deal.

Reporters being taken on a tour of the destroyer Arleigh Burke

The USS Arleigh Burke was commissioned on July 4, 1991 and is well known for its stealth technology and ability to evade and/or destroy anti-ship missiles. It can operate in environments contaminated by chemical, biological or radiological materials.

It has fired Tomahawk missiles against targets in the Middle East and escorted merchant ships and naval auxiliaries through geographically difficult places.

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