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Seychelles Presidents commends Sheikh Khalifa's interest in furthering bilateral relations

posted on 09/11/2011: 954 views

Seychelles - A total of US$150 million in assistance have been offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2007 to help boost economic reform plans, infrastructure projects, housing and social and medical services in the Republic of Seychelles, according to the President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel.

"We deeply appreciate the strong assistance and support by UAE which continues to support Seychelles' efforts to advance the living standards of its citizens through building housing projects, desalinations plants, generation plants, bridges and roads, Michel told WAM in an interview.

In support to the Indian Ocean nation's defence infrastructure and capability, the UAE also donated five patrol boats and US$15 million to build a new headquarters for Seychelles' Coast Guard.

Describing the UAE as a great friend of the UAE, Michel hailed the interest of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in supporting bilateral relations with Seychelles.

Michel further said that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been one of his country's most important partners as it backed the Seychelles' economic reform plan which he said was "very successful." The UAE's assistance to Seychelles development plans included US$15 million in funding for the country's budget following economic reforms in 2008, a grant of US$30 million for the government's housing plans, US$ 11 million to build the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Diagnostic Centre, built at Seychelles Hospital, US$15 million to build generation plants as well as funds to build 3 desalination plants on the archipelago to fend off drought.

Michel noted the significance of opening the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Diagnostic Centre which was built on an area of 280000 square meters and was equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities. Built upon orders from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Centre was opened earlier this year under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

"We are deeply grateful to the President and the people of the United Arab Emirates for this generous gift. It is a testament to the special friendship between Seychelles and the UAE, and it reminds us of the great importance we give to the health and wellbeing of our people," President Michel said at the opening of the centre.

President Michel welcomed the recent launching of Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways' service to Seychelles as an additional boost to relations with the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

He also welcomed recent signing of an agreement between the government of Seychelles and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) whereby the council will provide consultation and promote cooperation in developing and producing the master plan for the City of Victoria on Mahe Island, the Capital of Seychelles.

The agreement was signed under endorsement from President Michel and under the directives of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

This agreement, which underpins Abu Dhabi Government's endeavours to furthering collaboration with the Republic of Seychelles, was signed by Falah Al Ahbabi, the General Manager of UPC in his capacity as a representative of the UAE's Government, and Minister Joel Morgan, Ministry of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport '&' Energy, Government of Seychelles.

Seychelles looks forward to benefit from the agreement according to which UPC will assist the Government's leading role in facilitating and developing the Victoria Master Plan, according to President Michel.

A dedicated team made up of UPC planning experts will work closely with the Seychelles Planning Authority's representatives in urban planning principles, architecture, development regulation and administrative support to create a framework plan to guide future development of the city that will preserve heritage and culture. Additionally, the UPC planning experts will identify potential efficiencies to streamline the development review process and facilitate inter-agency coordination. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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