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More funding from the European Union - new ambassador promises continued support and assistance to Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles | November 10, 2015, Tuesday @ 19:55 in National » DIPLOMACY | By: Sharon Uranie | Views: 2147
More funding from the European Union - new ambassador promises continued support and assistance to Seychelles

EU's new Ambassador and Head of delegation of to Seychelles Marjaana Sall was accredited at State House this morning. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The newly-accredited Ambassador and Head of delegation of the European Union to Seychelles has pledged the EU's continued support including financial assistance to the Indian Ocean island nation, for the implementation of projects in various fields of common interest.

Marjaana Sall was speaking to the local press at State House this morning after presenting her credential to the Seychelles President James Michel.

"The European Union will stand by the government of Seychelles and provide the assistance it needs, namely through trade facilitation, supporting the implementation of the economic partnership agreement, we’ll provide more than 8 million euros in the next years to come...on climate change issues, we will provide 5 million euros to support Seychelles,” she told journalists.

“…We will continue with our bilateral programme, namely to provide studies and technical assistance to the government, to liberate funding from other partners…we’ll provide grant and then there will be loans from banks such as European Investment Bank and so on for bigger infrastructure project…for example the extension of the Port of Victoria is something we are discussing with our partners."

Seychelles and the European Union enjoy collaboration that dates back to the 1970s.

The diplomat told journalists that her meeting with Michel was an opportunity to discuss current and new avenues of cooperation between the two sides.

Sustainable fisheries management, maritime security, trade and investment, climate change and piracy are some of the areas of common interest that were highlighted.

Sustainable fisheries management, maritime security, trade and investment, climate change and piracy are some of the areas of common interest that were highlighted during talks between Seychelles President James Michel and EU's Ambassador and Head of delegation of to Seychelles Marjaana Sall. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

On the issue of piracy, Sall has taken the opportunity to congratulate the island nation’s government on its imminent role as the new Chairman of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), which coordinates efforts to fight against piracy in the region.

The CGPCS was set up in 2009 with the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1851.

Its members include countries that are affected by Somali piracy in the region, as well as those from Western Europe, Middle East and Asia. There are also maritime industry representatives, seafarer's organisations and NGOs which form part of the working groups.

It was in July this year that Seychelles’ bid to take over the Chairmanship from the European Union as of January 2016 was accepted.

Although piracy is on the decline in the region, Seychelles has identified other maritime crimes that need to be tackled to ensure maritime security in the region, including illicit drugs and arms trade as well as human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

According to a press statement issued by State House this evening, the Seychellois Head of State has highlighted EU’s “significant role” in helping the archipelago and the region in general to combat piracy.

“…It is important that we continue this collaboration..Notably, it is through the continued support of the EU that we, the East African region, have been able to fight the menace of piracy," said Michel in the statement.

Ambassador Marjaana Sall will be serving a four-year mandate as the EU Ambassador and Head of delegation to Seychelles. She is also EU’s representative to Mauritius, the Comoros and the Indian Ocean Commission.

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Tags: European Union, Marjaana Sall, President James Michel, funding, climate change, piracy, Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia

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