US reopens embassy in Seychelles after 27-year hiatus
US Embassy is located in the Oliaji Trade Centre. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Visa formalities for Seychellois citizens travelling to the United States are expected to be completed and expedited in Seychelles rather than in Mauritius with the opening of a U.S. Embassy in the capital, Victoria, on Thursday.
The statement was made by Seychelles' foreign affairs minister, Sylvestre Radegonde, in his address at the opening of the embassy located in the Oliaji Trade Centre.
"With the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Victoria, expectations are high. And rightly so! We have a number of issues on our common agenda," said Radegonde.
A U.S. Embassy opened in Seychelles in 1976, on the day of its independence but was closed in 1996.
Radegonde had the honour of cutting the symbolic ribbon alongside the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard Verma, to officially open the embassy.
Present at the ceremony was the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, along with Vice-President Ahmed Afif and other ambassadors, ministers, high-level officials and diplomats.
|U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard Verma, met with President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House earlier on Thursday. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
"As we look to the future, I am confident that our partnership and friendship will continue to thrive. We will work together to promote economic growth and development, to address climate challenges and protect the environment, maritime security and to ensure peace and security in the region and beyond," said Radegonde.
He added that "We believe that by working together, we can achieve great things and make a positive difference in the world. This has not stopped the two countries from working together in various areas, such as in maritime security, democracy and human rights."
Verma said that "the establishment of an embassy is the next critical step to strengthen our partnership to advance common goals, and while we continue to benefit from Ambassador Jardine's leadership, this opening today will allow us to begin the process towards a dedicated full-time resident Ambassador to Seychelles."
He added that the opening of this embassy will allow both nations to broaden their cooperation and remain a visible sign of the long-term commitment of the U.S. to Seychelles.
The two nations have cooperated in various areas in recent years, such as in signing a bilateral agreement on countering illicit transnational maritime activity operations in July 2021, while the two nations have worked together in regard to the climate crisis, and drug trafficking, among others.
Jim Donegan will be the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seychelles and Henry Jardine remains the Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius, based in Port Louis, Mauritius.