The Commander of the Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Trevor Jones of the Royal Australian Navy, paid a courtesy call on Seychelles President James Michel at State House this morning. Rear Admiral Jones was accompanied by the Australian High Commissioner to Seychelles, Mrs. Susan Coles, who resides in Mauritius.
President Michel welcomed Rear Admiral Jones to his second visit to Seychelles and thanked the Australian government for its support in bringing security and stability in the region. He expressed his wish that Australia continues to play its role in the maritime security of the Indian Ocean.
“Seychelles values very much the support of Australia in a variety of projects, and the assistance provided has really helped us. We welcome the Australian engagement in the Indian Ocean, especially as Australia has part of its frontier in the Indian Ocean. We look forward to continuing our work together in building stability in the Indian Ocean,” said President Michel.
The President and the Rear Admiral discussed the ongoing efforts by Australia and the Coalition Maritime Forces in patroling the maritime region adjacent to the Seychelles and also the fight against piracy, Seychelles’ challenges as a small island developing state; the Blue Economy concept; and the protection of the environment. Rear Admiral Jones commended Seychelles for meeting its targets for the Millennium Development Goals.
Speaking to the local press, Rear Admiral Jones gave a brief on his discussions with the President, such as ensuring the security of maritime traffic around the Seychelles and other parts of the Indian Ocean so that they are safe for free trade.
“We also spoke about the issues that we observed every time we come to the Seychelles driven by the leadership of the government here and that is the inclusivity of developmental work – education, health and housing for the people – which bring a great stable basis upon which a small island nation can demonstrate to the rest of the world how one can prosper and make the best of their resources,” said Rear Admiral Jones.
“We also spoke about some of the wonderful initiatives that the Seychelles government has in play with the Blue Economy, and we are fully supportive of that as a maritime nation that serves around the steering, and we respect of the leadership of the Seychelles in this part of the world, but also globally in terms of how an island nation can take control of its resources and manage those to the best effect for the people of the Seychelles – it’s quite impressive. Not only that, the leadership of the Seychelles shows, in terms of environmental good governance, environmental protection, the use of renewable technologies for energy – these are all things that one wouldn’t normally expect of a small nation, but the progressive nature of the Seychelles and the wonderful leadership they show in this regard is a great example for other African nations but also other small global nations in terms of how they can deliver good governance to their people.”
The Rear Admiral also said that his task force is looking forward to participating in the upcoming National Day on June 29, 2015 and in ensuring that it is a great day for the people of Seychelles.
Also present in the meeting were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan; the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay; Chief Military Adviser to the President, Colonel Clifford Roseline; Policy Advisor to Rear Admiral Jones, Ms. Kendra Morony; and Second Secretary of the Austrialian High Commission, Mrs. Barbara Minois.