21 May 2019

Mozambique and Seychelles Discuss Cooperation

Maputo — The governments of Mozambique and the Seychelles on Monday signed agreements on aviation, security and public order and general cooperation.

The agreements were signed in Maputo as part of a state visit by Seychelles President Danny Faure, who will remain in the Mozambican capital to attend the Conference on the Blue Economy scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Shortly after his arrival, Faure held talks with his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi, in which the two presidents reaffirmed the fraternal relations existing between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations in 1983.

At the press conference following the talks, Mozambican Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco said the visit is part of the strengthening of friendship and bilateral relations between Mozambique and the Seychelles. Potential areas for cooperation and the promotion of business were identified, he added.

In the area of defence, security and public order, Pacheco said, since both countries are Indian Ocean states, there are common interests that should be explored to ensure the sustainable management of the maritime resources they share.

As for aviation, Pacheco said "with the development of bilateral cooperation, we have every interest in facilitating air connection between the two countries".

Energy was a fertile area for cooperation, given Mozambique's enormous natural gas resources in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Pacheco said that, once large scale exploitation of the Rovuma Basin gas begins, "a quota will be exported to the Seychelles, where the priority is to use it to generate electricity".

For his part, the Seychelles Minister of Finance, Maurice Lalande, said that during the talks the two sides expressed the desire to work to raise their relations to the level of "a strategic partnership".

"We are continuing to make efforts to ensure that the concept of the Blue Economy can gain maximum coverage and exposure, and we are pleased that we can count on Mozambique's support", said Lalande.

He praised Mozambique's support in terms of maritime security. He added that both sides want to cooperate in such areas as the fight against drug trafficking, tourism and culture.

As for importing Mozambican gas, Lalande said the Seychelles wants to move away from fuels such as diesel to liquefied natural gas.

"This is a programme we want to conclude in two years, and it fits in very well with the production of natural gas in Mozambique", he said. "From the point of view of prices, we will be able to buy at cheaper prices than those we are currently paying for fuel".

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