During a recent port visit of the EU Naval Force Flagship FGS Brandenburg to the Seychelles, the Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen, took the opportunity to meet several ministers and military representatives of the Republic of Seychelles, as well as the EU delegation.
Rear Admiral zur Mühlen met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Paul Adam, and the Minister of Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan. During the meeting, the ministers emphasized to Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen how the Seychelles continues its contribution to maritime security in the Indian Ocean as well as fostering cooperation and capacity building in the region. Both parties underlined the good cooperation between the Seychelles and the EU Naval Force and emphasized the importance of the common fight against piracy.
Speaking during his visit, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen stated: “The European Union and the Seychelles have always been at the frontline in the fight against piracy. The visit of my flagship is a reassurance of the continued EU Naval Force determination to foster this valuable cooperation. We are having success, however, the pirates’ business model is fractured, not broken. We all have to remain vigilant.”
Rear Admiral zur Mühlen then visited the Chief of Defence of the Seychelles People’s Defense Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet and Chief of Seychelles Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dine. During this meeting the discussion focused on the ways the EU Naval Force and Seychelles forces can continue to work together in a practical way, such as the recent oil spill exercise that was carried out as part of the Local Maritime Capability Building.
The Force Commander also met the EU and French Ambassador, Her Excellency Genevieve Lancu and the British High Commissioner, Her Excellency Lindsay Skoll. During the meeting the Force Commander provided an operational and tactical update on Operation Atalanta and explained how the EU Naval Force contributes to the EU’s Comprehensive Approach to the Horn of Africa.
Finally the Force Commander hosted a formal dinner on board the EU flagship attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, and the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange.
The Seychelles remains a key partner in the region in the Fight Against Piracy particular in ensuring a legal finish in piracy disruptions. On 29 January 2014 five suspect pirates were transferred to the Seychelles.
Press Release, June 16, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR