Press release


March 14, 2012

The Mauritian President, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, has conferred the highest decoration of the Republic of Mauritius, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, to President James Michel in view of the excellent relations between Seychelles and Mauritius and President Michel’s contribution to the development of Seychelles.

The insignia ceremony took place yesterday at the State House, Le Réduit, during a lunch organized in the President’s honour. It was attended also by Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam as well as other dignitaries of the state.

“As Seychelles and Mauritius are linked together by this ocean we share, it is a great honour for me to accept this honour as a symbol of all that can be achieved when our two peoples work together. This honour is also a mark of the affection that our two peoples share for each other and the special understanding that has always existed and which continues to grow between them, “ said President Michel upon receiving the decoration.

“In these times of uncertainty, it is obvious that we must privilege these links and all the further possibilities they offer for the future.

I accept this honour on behalf of the Seychellois people, and dedicate it to the next generation of Seychellois and Mauritians who will continue to benefit from this unique and special relationship.”

Earlier in the day, President Michel visited the head quarters of the Indian Ocean Commission, where he met with the IOC Secretary General Callixte D’Offay. Mr. Michel expressed his appreciation of the achievements and exemplary work of the outgoing  Secretary General from Seychelles, and also presented his best wishes to Mr.Jean-Claude de l’Estrac from Mauritius who will take up the post of Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission in July 2012.

Before departing from Mauritius, President Michel held bilateral talks with the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development,  Xavier-Luc Duval. They discussed the need to give a greater impetus to the “Îles Vanille” tourism concept which both President Michel and Prime Minister Ramgoolam had declared their support for during their meeting at Clarisse House. It was agreed that better air links between the islands of the Indian Ocean need to be established and that cross-promotion of the islands can be achieved at large tourism fairs. The President also discussed ways in which the governments and private sector of Seychelles and Mauritius can work together to improve trade and investment through the improvement of shipping lines between the two countries.

Mr. Michel also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Arvin Boolell, to discuss the various areas of cooperation at bilateral, regional and international level. Piracy, sustainable development and climate change were the key topics of deliberation.

The Leader of the Opposition in Mauritius, Paul Bérenger, also paid a courtesy call on the President. They discussed the political and economic situation of the islands of the Indian Ocean region as well as action that can be taken to curb piracy.