Seychelles President James Michel met with Cabo Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca and his delegation at State House this afternoon.

The two Presidents exchanged views in a tête-à-tête, and then joined their delegations for a bilateral meeting, where Vice-President Danny Faure and the Seychelles cabinet of ministers were present. President Fonseca was accompanied by his Minister for Tourism and Energy, Humberto Brito, the Mayor of Praia, José Ulisses Correia e Silva,and the Director of the President’s Office, Tania Romualdo.

“Your visit a historic milestone in our relations and represents a new beginning for the unique relationship that Seychelles and Cabo Verde share. I strongly believe that in this year where due focus is being placed on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by key organizations such as the United Nations, such a visit is opportune and will serve as a strong reminder of the special ties that island nations share and of their importance in the global tapestry of nations,” said President Michel during the meeting.

President Michel said that President Fonseca’s visit is also an opportunity for the two island states to show more prominently to the rest of the world what they have achieved over the years with ‘the unbreakable spirit of our people and despite our small size’ and the challenges they face linked to SIDS vulnerabilities. He suggested the two states create synergies for the blue economy concept, to exploit oceanic resources in a sustainable manner.

“Seychelles and Cabo Verde are like-minded countries. With our track record in human development, in good governance and our shared cultural affinities such as the Creole language, it is very clear to us that we should be celebrating our National Day this year with Cabo Verde,” said Mr Michel.

On his part, President Fonseca said that his visit signals the beginning of close cooperation between two countries which share many affinities.

“We are small states, we are Creole peoples, we are close in so many ways and we already have positive cooperation in world affairs, such as the AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States), and there is potential to increase this further in other areas such as fisheries, tourism, culture as well as exchanges between our business communities,” said Mr Fonseca

The two delegations also discussed the need to increase business ties with exchanges of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the two countries, as well as in the field of tourism and culture promotion.

Following the bilateral meeting, Seychelles and Cabo Verde signed four agreements; a twinning agreement between the capitals Victoria and Praia, a general cooperation agreement, a bilateral air services agreement as well as a tourism cooperation agreement.

In addition to the tourism agreement, the Cabo Verde Minister for Tourism, Humberto Brito  emphasized that Seychelles’ sustainable tourism experiences offered an ideal model for other islands states. Cabo Verde has enlisted the assistance of the  World Bank for a fact-finding mission to Seychelles as the country has been identified as an example of sustainable tourism development. Some of the Cabo Verde experts are currently in the county as part of this mission.

President Fonseca and his delegation said they also looked forward to learning from Seychelles’ experience in the development of the fisheries sector.

The Cabo Verde President is on a state visit to Seychelles between 16-20 June.