Seychelles and Spain have agreed on further cooperations in the health, social and financial sectors with fisheries and maritime security topping both countries’ priorities.
This was disclosed by Manuel Palma, the new Spanish ambassador to the African islandic nation after he presented his credentials to President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles at State House, Victoria.
He said both countries agree that there is a need to expand the Seychelles-Spain relationship and to work to foster closer cooperation in a number of fields, as there are areas of potential improvement.
Both countries are cooperating in the fisheries sector through the agreement between the European Union (EU) and Seychelles. According to Palma, this allows Spain to fish in the Indian Ocean and, by doing so, support Seychelles’ economy in the fisheries sector.
He said, “We are trying to develop that cooperation as much as possible for the next coming years. We are also looking into new sectors where we think we could have important cooperation with Seychelles.”
The envoy expressed Spain’s commitment to participating actively in maritime security cooperation, particularly regarding the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR).
EU NAVFOR was established in 2008 to fight sea piracy off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. The mandate was later extended to include monitoring of fisheries activities, monitoring of arms and drug trafficking, and monitoring of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing among other missions.
In January 2021, the EU NAFOR operations were extended for another two years till December 2022.
Since the launch of the EU NAVFOR operations, Spain has had a naval ship in the area. Palma vowed Spain’s readiness to remain the EU NAVFOR operation as long as it exists.
Diplomatic relations between Spain and Seychelles were established on November 3, 1978. Palma, who is the 15th ambassador from Spain to be accredited to Seychelles, will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.