SEYCHELLES-MAURITIUS, A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
President James Michel and Mrs. Natalie Michel hosted a banquet at the Kempinski Resort at Baie Lazare yesterday evening, in honour of the Prime Minister of Mauritius, His Excellency Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The banquet was attended by Former President James Mancham, Vice President Danny Faure, the diplomatic corps, as well as Seychellois and Mauritian dignitaries.
“Your visit is placed under the sign of the deep-rooted friendship between our two countries. I am proud that this friendship — this affinity — can be strengthened further, and in a way that is a lot more strategic, thanks to the effort and the determination of our two governments and peoples… The people of Seychelles are today proud to welcome Prime Minister Ramgoolam as our guest of honour….. I know Navin as a person who keeps his promise. During many years he has played a key role in the development of Mauritius. He has worked tirelessly in positioning Mauritius as a country with a dynamic economy, and also an unfailing commitment to its social contract with its people. I want to seize this occasion to hail his conviction as a leader. He is not a person who will just do things because he is popular. He does it for the good of his people. And this is the quality of a true leader,” said President Michel in his address.
President Michel noted that Mauritius and Seychelles have a natural connection and special relationship, with the same vision for development that is solid, lasting and sustainable. He noted that both countries experience similar vulnerabilities which they are working together to address.
“Seychelles and Mauritius share a deep friendship. And this friendship strengthens our resilience as two developing small island states coping with the negative currents in the global economy presently. The crisis that is spreading across the world actually is the most severe we have known. Many may question the resilience of the small island states in the face of such challenges, because we are the ones that are the most vulnerable. But we believe in our own capability. And we have already shown our resilience. And we have already proven our ability to adapt. If our two countries are cited among those with the best governance in Africa, it is because we have demonstrated our resoluteness to utilize our resources to ensure development for our peoples. It is because we have invested in our respective populations. It is because we practice transparency. It is because we believe in the rule of law,” said President Michel.
In his address, Prime Minister Ramgoolam thanked the Seychellois people for their warm welcome and hospitality and applauded the excellent relations between the two countries.
“ We have the same history, the same roots, our countries used to be administered as one country, and even after our independence we remain as one people…Mauritians have a lot of esteem for their Seychellois friends. Our Seychellois friends are always welcome in Mauritius, just as Mauritians always feel welcome in Seychelles. ….….thanks to the friendship between our peoples, and the personal friendship between President Michel and myself, we recently achieved an historic agreement to jointly manage the Continental Shelf [of the Mascarene Plateau Region ]….. we are islands on the world map, but when we put our resources together, we become giants of the Indian Ocean. We have a great common future,” said Prime Minister Ramgoolam.
Prime Minister Ramgoolam praised the progress that Seychelles has made in recent years and assured that Mauritius would continue to support Seychelles in its development.
“Since my last visit to Seychelles in 2006, I have noticed that a lot of development has taken place… under the enlightened and progressive leadership of President Michel, the Seychellois people can look towards the future with much confidence. We are all aware what is happening in Europe, we know about the unprecedented economic crisis in the Euro zone… It is not easy for our countries… but thanks to our vision and determination we are working to create a synergy, which is promising for Seychelles and for Mauritius.”
The banquet was also attended by members of the Mauritian community in Seychelles, who had made a special effort to welcome their Prime Minister when he landed at the Seychelles International Airport.