The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, H.E. Miguel Fernàndez-Palacios, has paid a farewell call on President James Michel at State House this morning as his three year tenure comes to an end. The Ambassador was based in Addis Ababa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

President James Michel expressed his thanks to Ambassador Fernàndez-Palacios for his nation’s continued support to the Republic of Seychelles especially in the fight against piracy, climate change and the vast contribution Spain brings to the fisheries sector.

“I would like to thank your Excellency for your personal engagement with Seychelles during your tenure and in particular for further consolidating an already excellent relationship between our two countries. Spain has been essential in Operation Atalanta in ensuring the eradication of the scourge of piracy. Our relations extend far beyond our common security, notably the excellent partnership which we share in fisheries and in our common desire to achieve energy security through alternative sources,” said President Michel during their discussions.

The Spanish Ambassador expressed his gratitude to the President for the excellent relations that Spain and Seychelles enjoy and noted that his tenure as Ambassador accredited to Seychelles was a particular honour for him.

“This has been an opportunity to take stock of our warm relations over the past three years. My tenure has seen important leaps in our cooperation, most notably in the field of renewable energy where a delegation from Seychelles visited the Spanish island of El Hierro, which will become the first self-sufficient island in the world, to learn how that technology could be adapted to Seychelles and help in the fight to mitigate climate change,” said the Ambassador.

Ambassador Fernàndez–Palacios also thanked President Michel and the Seychelles Government on behalf of His Majesty King Felipe VI for its support on the Spanish bid for the United Nations Security Council.

Admiral Alphonso de Cordoba accompanied the Spanish Ambassador to the farewell visit. The Spanish Navy vessel ‘ESPS Galicia’ is the command ship of the Operation Atalanta force. Speaking to President Michel, the Admiral reaffirmed his commitment in fighting piracy and acknowledged Seychelles leadership role in this regard. The Admiral was also thankful for the support Seychelles provides to Spanish vessels. Both the Ambassador the Admiral highlighted that every time the Spanish Navy calls on Port Victoria a joint excise is established with the Seychelles Coast Guard.

In response, President Michel said “there is no success without ownership and Seychelles and its partners have turned the vicious problem of piracy in our seas into a success. The international community must remain proactive to ensure our common security objectives are met.”

Also present at the farewell meeting was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure and the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d’Offay.