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PRESIDENT MICHEL HAILS DYNAMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN EU AND SEYCHELLES TO FIGHT PIRACY

21.05.2010

Following the high level meeting between President James Michel and Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, President Michel has saluted the “dynamic cooperation efforts” of Seychelles and the EU in the fight against piracy, and also called on all partners to commit more resources and to do more to fight the scourge on an international level.

“The dynamic cooperation efforts between Seychelles and the EU have been exemplary and we have shown how a coordinated approach can be very successful against the pirates.  The visit of Baroness Ashton is a further mark of the importance of this issue for our European partners, and we look forward to the commitment of more resources to better protect ourselves and our region.”

The President stressed, however, that as long as Somalia remained unstable, piracy would continue to be a problem and that small states such as Seychelles needed much more support to ensure that regional seaways were safe and that economic activity was not disrupted. 

“Seychelles is on the frontline of the fight against piracy.  And despite our limited resources, we have done everything within our power to ensure that we protect our waters and that we offer a meaningful contribution to the international effort to combat piracy.  We are grateful for all the support we have received from many partners,  but there are still so many resource issues to be addressed before we can adequately control and eventually eradicate piracy.”

The President noted that the joint efforts of Seychelles and the EU have allowed a strong response against pirate attacks, but there were still many logistical issues concerning the transfer and prosecution of pirates.  

President Michel also stressed that the solution lay not with any single state alone, but rather depended on a coordinated effort from states in the region and their partners, such as the EU, the US, India, China and others. 

“We are also pleased that Baroness Ashton’s visit offers the occasion to have an open discussion with partners from the region on how to improve our coordination in the fight against piracy.  We are encouraged that several countries in the region have offered additional commitments to escalate their support to the fight against piracy.  We are all in this together”.

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