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Denmark’s new ambassador to Seychelles says support will continue in maritime security

Victoria, Seychelles | February 16, 2016, Tuesday @ 13:08 in National » DIPLOMACY | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2116
Denmark’s new ambassador to Seychelles says support will continue in maritime security

Ambassador Mette Knudsen is greeted by President James Michel upon arriving at State House, Monday. (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Denmark will continue to support the Seychelles in the area of maritime security, including the donation of several small boats, the new Danish ambassador to the Indian Ocean archipelago said Monday.

Ambassador Mette Knudsen made the statement after presenting her accreditation letter to Seychelles President James Michel.

Knudsen told journalists that Denmark and Seychelles developed a close cooperation in the maritime field when piracy became a challenge for both countries.

“Danish maritime vessels have been visiting here regularly as well as our aircraft and we have also decided to support the Coast Guard of Seychelles with a number of small vessels, which will be handed over during this year,” said ambassador Knudsen.

The Seychelles archipelago, consisting of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, depends largely on fishing, the second pillar of its economy. That industry was threatened beginning in 2005 when Somali pirates began attacking ships in the region.

Knudsen said she and Michel also discussed the collaboration between the two countries on the East African Standby Force in relation to conflicts on the African continent. Seychelles chairs the Standby Force and Denmark heads the donor group.

Renewable energy is another area of possible cooperation that Knudsen said can be developed between the two sides.

“I noted the budget speech [by the Seychelles finance minister] and the mention of the government investing in renewable energy in the coming years. We have a lot of experience and it might be interesting for Seychelles to look towards Denmark in some of these areas,” she said.

The Danish ambassador to Seychelles told journalists that she also talked to president Michel about economic growth and the tourism sector, Seychelles' top economic sector.

Knudsen is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Tags: Ambassador Mette Knudsen, President James Michel, Denmark, maritime security, piracy, renewable energy

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