Seychelles and South Africa’s leaders in bilateral talks


President Michel seen here with President Zuma in Addis AbabaPresident Michel has hailed South Africa as a key player to ensure the development of the ‘blue economy’ in the southern Indian Ocean, and the two countries are looking to develop a maritime partnership based on shared security, development of ports and maritime trade as well as further enhancing tourism based development in the region.

President Michel thanked President Zuma for his leadership within SADC (Southern African Development Community) and for his support for the principle of specific infrastructure projects that are aimed at benefitting the maritime and island member states. 

“We appreciate the support of South Africa for the principle that we, as Africans, need to give more attention to our oceans as spaces for development.  African islands such as Seychelles can play a key role in this development,” President Michel said.

The two leaders also discussed the challenge posed by the scourge of piracy and they both expressed their determination to increase the cooperation between the two countries on this matter with a view to enhancing the capacity of African states to provide security in their own waters.

Ongoing efforts to bring stability to Madagascar in the context of the implementation of the SADC roadmap was also discussed by the two leaders. 

President Michel thanked President Zuma for South Africa’s dynamic leadership at the head of the SADC Troika on Peace and Security and for overseeing the mediation process on this issue, while President Zuma also noted that the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) should play an important role as an organisation of proximity to Madagascar. 

President Michel reiterated the support of the IOC for the implementation of the roadmap and stated that the IOC was willing to provide support in any way possible for the way forward. 
Seychelles currently holds the presidency of the IOC. 

The two leaders agreed to maintain a high level of consultation on this issue and to move as quickly as possible to a resolution of the situation as the socio-economic conditions in Madagascar continue to worsen.

President Michel led the Seychelles delegation to the African Union summit, following Seychelles’ return to the organisation after regularising its arrears with the organisation at the end of 2010.

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