Press release

Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and US Under Secretary for Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights hold talks in margins of US Africa summit

August 9, 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam met with Mrs Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the US State Department at a meeting in the margins of the US Africa Summit held earlier this week in Washington D.C., USA.

Minister Adam underlined the positive outcome of the summit, where there was a genuine commitment from the United States (US) Government towards Africa and saw the willingness and potential investment opportunities of the US private sector in renewable energy platforms in Seychelles. Minister Adam hoped that initiatives such as these, that have the backing of the US Government as expressed by US President Barack Obama during the summit, would translate into practical investment opportunities for all African states including Seychelles. He also expressed gratitude for the support of the US Government towards investing in Africa’s youth through the Young Leaders Initiative Program.

Minister Adam noted that irrespective of Seychelles’ demographic and geographic limitations there were veritable financial benefits associated with investing in the country and solicited the Under Secretary’s help in ensuring that Seychelles would not be overlooked.

Under Secretary Sewall remarked that the Summit will pave the way for the deepening of economic partnerships and that US would work with Seychelles in dealing with crisis prevention mechanisms, human rights issues and good governance. Mrs Sewall looked forward to mutually beneficial long-term developments not limited to, but focusing on crimes on the high seas.

The achievements by Seychelles in combatting maritime piracy and newer initiatives, dealing specifically with information sharing though the REFLECS 3 centre were highlighted by Minister Adam. He noted that the US was a key partner working closely with the Seychelles Government in the field of intelligence to tackle issues such as money laundering. The Minister further stated, “we hope to deepen our excellent partnership with the US and look forward to working bilaterally to tackle all aspects of maritime criminality to ensure regional and international security.”

Mrs Sewall appreciated Seychelles’ leadership role as a regional hub for information sharing and hoped that Seychelles maintains the positive outcomes achieved thus far in this endeavour.

The Minister and Under Secretary Sewall also reiterated the two countries commitment to exchanges and dialogue on subjects related to the rule of law, human rights and the freedom of expression.

The Minister emphasised that Seychelles is open and mentioned that the rule of law and freedom of expression remain an ongoing discussion between the two Governments.

” There’s a lot of space for open discourse in Seychelles and in international fora and we welcome diverse opinions on the matter and do not shy away from constructive criticism ” said the Minister.

On the topic of climate change, Seychelles is seeking the support of large industralised nations such as the United States, which will be vital following the Samoa meeting of Small Island States. The outcomes of the Samoa meeting will inevitably only succeed if they are further supported by the larger nations with greater political and economic clout. In this context Minister Adam stressed the importance of the Blue Economy initiative where the US could share their experiences and help other states mobilise resources, mapping out both the conservation and economic aspects of the initiative.

The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Seychelles, H.E Mrs. Shari Villarosa, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, H.E, Ambassador Robert. P. Jackson.