Seychelles’ new Foreign Secretary to tap into potential regional resources
Claud Morel said that this will be an advantage for Seychelles as there will be better communication and interactions between teachers and pupils as the Seychelles and Mauritius share the same language and culture.(Louis Toussaint, Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has the possibility to extend its cooperation with its immediate neighbours and explore the vast potential that countries of the region can offer, the new Foreign Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs says.
Claude Morel made the statement last week after taking office following the resignation of Marie-Louise Potter in February. Morel said he accepted his new position with humility and confidence.
Seychelles and Mauritius signed a fisheries agreement last week and "in a few weeks we will be signing another agreement, this time in the educational sector, where the government of Seychelles will recruit teachers from Mauritius,” said Morel.
He added that this will be an advantage for Seychelles as there will be better communication and interactions between teachers and pupils as the two countries share the same language and culture.
Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, will also benefit from Mauritius' expertise in the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
Another regional country Morel said has vast potential is Madagascar which is becoming the powerhouse of the Indian Ocean, in the same way that South Africa has become the powerhouse in Africa.
“Madagascar produces fruits, vegetables and meat of high quality at competitive prices. We need to explore the possibility of getting Seychellois traders to go to these markets,” said Morel.
“On the diplomacy level we will facilitate trade and thus we will not have the need to import products from Brazil and other far located countries," he added.
The new Foreign Secretary said there is the possibility for the extension of cooperation with Reunion which is currently focused on tourism and health.
The Comoros islands have already expressed their desire to learn from the Seychelles’ experience in tourism and fisheries.
Morel said drug trafficking and illegal fishing can be addressed through negotiations and bilateral agreements with other countries.
“The fight against drugs is a national priority. Just like we mobilised regional and international help and support in the fight against piracy, the same effort can be put in rallying for help and support from different countries and organisations to help us combat the scourge,” said Morel.
He added that diplomacy is evolving and is not static and that Seychelles need to readjust to adapt to new regional and international realities.
“I aim to lead the Department of Foreign Affairs with a high level of professionalism, integrity, ensuring that we always aim for excellence in all the work we do and that we remain focused on deriving the maximum benefits and outcomes for the betterment of our people and country,” said Morel.
The new Foreign Secretary said he will start a review of the department’s operations and strategies both at the internal level locally, the embassies and the network of consulates abroad.
Morel said he will explore and strengthen existing collaborations and bring them to another level by deriving the most benefits from the potential of a large number of consuls in various parts of the world.
“The consuls are the links and bridges between Seychelles and those countries where they are based,” Morel said.