On the margins of the Madagascar talks-Presidents Michel and Zuma hold bilateral talks


President Michel welcomes President Zuma at the Pointe Larue International Airport on Mahe, before flying to Desroches to attend the Madagascar talks

President Michel welcomed President Zuma to Mahe on Wednesday morning and then accompanied him to Desroches Island where in-depth consultations have been underway to find an end to the impasse in Madagascar in relation to the implementation of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) roadmap.

The two presidents met briefly to discuss deepening cooperation between Seychelles and South Africa, both on bilateral and regional security issues, as well as to follow-up on issues discussed at their last meeting in Addis Ababa, on the margins of the recently concluded African Union Summit.

President Michel thanked President Zuma for his dynamic and unswerving leadership within SADC as the head of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence, and Security, and for his support and commitment to the Madagascar talks being held in Seychelles.

President Zuma in return thanked President Michel for the exemplary work done in order to host the historic talks between the Malagasy political leadership in Seychelles, recognising their shared commitment to bringing stability to Madagascar and the region.

In addition, the South African President thanked Seychelles for its role in the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and for the organisations' commitment to the SADC Roadmap for Madagascar.

The two leaders also touched on key areas of bilateral cooperation and having reaffirmed their commitment to the blue economy and developing a maritime partnership, President Michel emphasised the need to ensure that the Indian Ocean continues to grow as a space conducive for development, not just for the neighbouring Small Island States but for the region as a whole.

The potential for enhancing educational exchanges and links, particularly in the light of both countries membership of the SADC Protocol on Education, was also raised and it was felt that a lot could be achieved in this sector.

The two heads of State also discussed their growing partnership in the tourism sector, and ways in which this partnership may be further enhanced and boosted.

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