Seychelles Invites Diplomats On Outer Island Excursion As Thanks for Covid-19 Support

Diplomats from eight countries will visit some of the Seychelles' outer islands -- including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aldabra Atoll -- this coming weekend on a trip designed to show the island nation's gratitude for the support provided during the pandemic.

The expedition to the six islands comes through an invitation from President Wavel Ramkalawan, who will lead the visit.

A communique from the statehouse on Monday described the trip "as a symbolic gesture of appreciation for the continuous support their respective countries have extended to Seychelles, especially during this ongoing global pandemic."

Members of the diplomatic corps include ambassadors and high commissioners Guo Wei from China, Francesca Alexandra Azais from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Dalbir Singh Suhag from India, Artem Kozhinfrom from Russia and Dominique Mas from France. Representatives from the British High Commission and the Japan and Sri Lanka embassies will also participate in the visit.

These countries have provided assistance to Seychelles through donations in the form of funds towards the COVID Relief Fund set up by the president himself, as well as medical materials and supplies including COVID-19 vaccinations.

The delegation will leave the main island of Mahe on Friday, April 9 and return the following Monday. The visit to the outer islands will start with a tour of the World Heritage Site, Aldabra - a living laboratory home to the largest population of giant land tortoises - the Aldabra land tortoises. Aldabra Atoll is also the second largest coral atoll in the world.

The visit will then continue with brief stops to Alphonse, Assumption, Astove, Farquhar and Desroches islands.

On Astove and Farquhar islands, Ramkalawan is expected to inaugurate photovoltaic solar panels, a project implemented by the Islands Development Company (IDC) which manages the outer islands of Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The First Lady, Linda Ramkalawan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Minister Sylvestre Radegonde and the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Minister Flavien Joubert will also take part in the visit.

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