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South Africa and Seychelles further widen scope of strategic partnership

South Africa and Seychelles further widen scope of strategic partnership

18.02.2013

The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam has held high-level discussions with several South African Ministers and government following his attendance of the South African State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town last week.

Minister Adam met Minister Rob Davies, the Minister for Trade and Industry, as well as with his counterpart Minister Maite Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Deputy Minister Marius Fransman.

As a continuation of talks held with Minister Mshabane during her visit to Seychelles last month, Minister Adam has highlighted the strategic partnership that exists between the two countries, and discussed proposals by which this partnership may be further strengthened.

In his discussions the Minister noted that South Africa was a critical link for Seychelles in terms of trade with the rest of the world.

“The Government of Seychelles appreciates South Africa’s support towards our bid to join the World Trade Organisation, and we are also looking towards reducing the costs of trade between our two countries as well as facilitating trade through regional partnerships such as under the aegis of SADC,” said the Minister.

Minister Adam has reiterated the importance for regional countries to continually work together to bring about a true maritime corridor aimed at boosting the development of all countries in the region and enhancing the ‘blue economy’.  The Minister noted that the strengthening of the maritime trading links on the African continent has been a key subject of discussions between President James Michel and President Jacob Zuma in recent years.

During their talks the Ministers also agreed that Seychelles and South Africa are well placed to mutually support each other on developing the tourism potential of the region. Minister Adam called for enhanced cultural exchanges, and praised the participation of groups from the Western Cape and Kwazulu Natal in the recent Seychelles International Carnival had been very successful and was bringing the people of the two countries closer together.

Minister Adam has also continued discussion aimed at enhancing youth exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.  In this context, Minister Adam met with Mr. Shaun Johnson of the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation, with which Seychelles is already cooperating through the Young Leaders Programme.

In relation to international issues of mutual concern, the two countries have also resolved to continue supporting the resolution of the crisis in Madagascar through the holding of free fair and credible elections in the country.  During his visit, Minister Adam briefed the South African government on the support that the Indian Ocean Commission will be bringing to the process through the liaison office to be established, which will also work closely with the SADC office.

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