Press release


September 18, 2012

Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, EUNAVFOR Operation Commander for the European Union Naval Forces anti-piracy mission paid a courtesy call on President James Michel this morning at State House. His visit follows their meeting in United Kingdom in February this year during the President’s official visit to the United Kingdom, as well the President’s call on world leaders and organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union for more support in the fight against piracy.

Rear Admiral Potts was accompanied by the EUNAVFOR Force Commander, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, H.E. Mrs Lindsay Skoll, Political Advisor for EUNAVFOR, Mrs Joanne Hamer, Chief of Staff Commander Jerome Origny, EUNAVFOR Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Commander John Simpson, and the Italian Consul to Seychelles, Claudio Izzi. The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, and the Secretary of State in the Office of the President, Barry Faure, were also present during the meeting.

President Michel and Rear Admiral Potts discussed the progress made over the last three years in terms of the coordinated approach being used in the fight against piracy, the reduction number of piracy incidents this year , as well as the success of anti-piracy efforts and political progress that  has taken place following the London Conference on Somalia held in United Kingdom in February. The President spoke about the plight of the two Seychellois hostages in Somalia and the challenges in gaining their release.

“ We are grateful for the support of the European Union Naval Forces in the fight against piracy, especially as there have been substantial results in the last year…. Seychelles is always ready to play its part in achieving regional peace and stability and we are encouraged by the positive changes and progress taking place on the ground in Somalia, that will bring about the conditions  to prevent future piracy. Somalia needs stability that will bring an end to the piracy threat,” said President Michel.

Rear Admiral Potts reassured the President of the European Union’s commitment to continue monitoring and patrolling the high risk areas of the Indian Ocean, which includes the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone.

“We will remain vigilant and committed…Seychelles plays an extremely important part in our operation and I am grateful for all the support we get,” said Rear Admiral Potts.

During his two days official visit in Seychelles, Rear Admiral Potts will meet with other Ministers and officials from the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces to further discuss the support that Seychelles provides to the EUNAVFOR forces in terms of basin for their maritime patrol aircraft, logistics support to their ships that operate in the Indian Ocean and the work that the Seychelles is doing in prosecuting and incarcerating pirates as well. He will also visit the personnel working with Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre.

Editor’s Note

  • President James Michel met Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, at the EUNAVFOR Northwood Headquarters during his official visit to the UK in February 2012. During the visit the President was updated on the EU NAVFOR mission and counter-piracy as part of the preparations for the Somalia Conference which took place in London. The President was accompanied on the visit  by the Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Joel Morgan.
  • EU NAVFOR Somalia is a counter-piracy taskforce operating in the area of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean responsible for deterring, preventing and repressing acts of piracy, for the safe escort of ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and to protect other vulnerable vessels. Additionally, EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia