Press release

Israeli Ambassador meets with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism

January 11, 2024

The Ambassador of Israel to Seychelles, Mr. Michael Lotem, today met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral cooperation in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and capacity building.

The Israeli Ambassador, who is based in Nairobi, is on a routine visit to Seychelles.

Minister Radegonde and Ambassador Lotem also discussed current international issues, particularly the current situation in Gaza. The Minister reiterated the Seychelles Government’s condemnation of the attack by Hamas on Israel on the 7th October, 2023, the senseless killings of innocent civilians as well as the taking of hostages.

Minister Radegonde stated that whilst Israel’s right to self-defence is recognised, that right cannot encroach on the rights of civilians in Gaza under the Human Rights Charter and Geneva Conventions. He deplored the indiscriminate killings of civilians – now estimated to be over 20,000 – the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza and called for an immediate end of the war as well as the release of all hostages being held by Hamas.

The Seychelles Foreign Minister urged the warring parties to return immediately, without pre-conditions, to the negotiating table, under the auspices of the United Nations, to find a lasting and comprehensive peace settlement guaranteeing the rights and security of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples based on the two-State solution. That, the Minister said, was the only viable option for lasting peace and security in the Middle East and beyond.

It is to be noted that Seychelles has been taking a stronger diplomatic stance on the conflict in Gaza as civilian casualties have mounted. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter and the rules of procedure of the UN Security Council, the Seychelles Government co-sponsored a draft UN Security Council resolution on 8th December 2023 calling for a ceasefire that was vetoed by the United States.

With the failure of the UN Security Council to act, the 10th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the Israel-Palestine conflict reconvened on 12th December to adopt a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the protection of civilians and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, which Seychelles also supported.