PRESIDENT MICHEL MEETS PRESIDENT ZUMA IN MARGINS OF MALAGASY TALKS ON DESROCHES
President James Michel and his South African counterpart, President Jacob Zuma, have held bilateral discussions in the margins of the Malagasy talks being hosted by President Michel on Desroches Island in Seychelles yesterday.
The President welcomed President Zuma to Mahe on Wednesday morning and then accompanied him to Desroches Island where in depth consultations have been underway to find an end to the impasse in Madagascar in relation to the implementation of the SADC roadmap.
The two Presidents met briefly to discuss deepening cooperation between Seychelles and South Africa, both on bilateral and regional security issues, as well as to follow-up on issues discussed at their last meeting in Addis Ababa, in the margins of the recently concluded African Union Summit.
President Michel thanked President Zuma for his dynamic and unswerving leadership within Southern African Development Community (SADC) as the head of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence, and Security, and for his support and commitment to the Malagasy talks being held in Seychelles.
President Zuma in return thanked President Michel for the exemplary work done in order to host the historic talks between the Malagasy political leadership in Seychelles, recognising their shared commitment to bringing stability to Madagascar and the region. In addition, the South African President thanked Seychelles for its role in the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and for the organisations’ commitment to the SADC Roadmap for Madagascar.
The two leaders also touched upon key areas of bilateral cooperation and having reaffirmed their commitment to the blue economy and developing a maritime partnership, President Michel emphasised the need to ensure that the Indian Ocean continues to grow as a space conducive for development, not just for the neighbouring Small Island States for the region as a whole.
The potential for enhancing educational exchanges and links, particularly in the light of both countries membership of the SADC Protocol on Education, was also raised and it was felt that a lot could be achieved in this sector.
The two heads of State also discussed their growing partnership in the tourism sector, and ways in which this partnership may be further enhanced and boosted.