President James Michel met with Rear-Admiral Bob Tarrant, Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia (ATALANTA) at State House this morning, 3 December 2013. Rear Admiral Tarrant was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Lindsay Skoll and the French Ambassador to Seychelles, Genevieve Iancu.
President Michel thanked the European Union and its naval force for the work they are doing to contain the piracy attacks in the Somali basin.
“Seychelles is trying to do its best to fight piracy with the limited resources it has, and while piracy has been contained with the help of international forces in the region, there is still a lot to be done on the ground in Somalia. The EU has been committed to dealing with piracy and we thank our EU partners for the work they have done to fight piracy, as well as the ongoing work in Somalia to achieve political stability,” said President Michel.
The President and the Rear Admiral discussed the most recent challenges that the EU Naval Forces have in the Somali Basin. Rear Admiral Tarrant commended Seychelles for the work that she is doing to prosecute pirates caught at sea.
‚ÄúWe have a very good relationship between the European Naval Force, which I represent, and the Government of Seychelles. I‚Äôve just reiterated our commitment to this counter piracy effort of which Seychelles has been at the forefront for a number of years since the problem really started. And I‚Äôm looking forward to continuing our work closely together in the future to defeat piracy‚Ä¶ to make piracy irrelevant,‚Äù said Rear Admiral Tarrant.
The Rear Admiral said that they have been able to contain the piracy situation and that they have been successful in dealing with the symptoms of piracy itself. He urged the maritime community to stay vigilant and not be complacent about piracy. He called on all concerned to continue working together to eradicate piracy in in the Indian Ocean and across the region as well as to bring peace and stability in Somalia.
‚ÄúThere is a very close cooperation here between the Government of Seychelles and the European Union and this is extremely helpful where the ocean is concerned, but the problems of piracy is that we can deal with the symptoms at the sea but we have to help Somalia deal with the causes on land. The European Union through capacity building of the EUCAP Nestor, EUNAVFOR and other missions now on the ground in Somalia are beginning to help the Somali Federal government make the difference to start to create some stability. The European Union is absolutely committed to the stability in Somalia and using a comprehensive approach with partners such as Seychelles to make it happen,‚Äù said Rear Admiral Tarrant.
Also present in the meeting were the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maurice Loustau Lalanne, Mr. Paul Mitcham ‚Äì EU NAVFOR Political Advisor and Lieutenant D. Briscoe RN ‚Äì Flag Officer
The President met with Rear Admiral Tarrant in February this year during the visit¬†to Seychelles¬†by the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Alistair Burt MP.