The governments of Seychelles and Germany have discussed ways in which to deepen existing cooperation in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean following a meeting that was held between the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, with the Germany State Secretary for the Federal Foreign Office, Mr. Wolf-Ruthart Born, during a recent visit to Berlin.
Minister Adam thanked Mr. Born for Germany’s participation in the anti-piracy operations in the region and for their invaluable contributions to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which is playing a vital effort in assisting with piracy-related initiatives such as the funding of prison facilities both in Seychelles and Somalia, providing technical assistance, and working with the government of Seychelles to establish a repatriation framework for convicted Somali prisoners currently being held in local prisons.
The two representatives also discussed the ongoing bilateral cooperation between Seychelles and Germany and discussed other key issues such as the recent reforms undertaken by the Seychelles government, the development of renewable energy, as well as ongoing efforts to address the challenges of climate change.
They also spoke of other areas for future collaboration including support for Seychelles accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and for further solidifying agreements following the Cancun climate change summit.
Also present at the meeting was Dr. Emily Haber, the Political Director for the Federal Foreign Office, Mr. Jan Hendrik Dopheide, First Secretary and Desk Officer for Seychelles, and Prof. Nikolaus Fuchs, the Seychelles Honorary Consul in Berlin.
Seychelles and Germany established diplomatic relations in 1977 and have since collaborated on many issues, which include several scholarships and training exchanges. Germany is also one of the largest European markets for tourism with over 21,000 German tourists visiting Seychelles in 2010 and remains the third leading market to date.
During this recent visit to Berlin, Minister Adam also visited the Seychelles delegation at the ITB 2011 fair, a leading travel industry convention, on behalf of President James Michel, who is also the Minister for Tourism, to convey the continuous support of the government to the Seychelles Tourism Board and to all the private sector actors leading the industry.