Saudi Arabia, Seychelles discuss priority projects, explore ways to boost bilateral relations |21 June 2021
Visiting Saudi Arabian Minister of State for African Countries, Ahmed A. A. Kattan, held talks with a delegation led by Minister Sylvestre Radegonde at the Botanical House on Thursday.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism as well as the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan, and high governmental officials who included the principal secretary for foreign affairs, Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave, secretary of state for finance Patrick Payet, principal secretary for tourism Sherin Francis, director general for bilateral affairs Lindy Ernesta and project coordinator Terrence Malbrook, together with Minister Kattan explored ways to further develop bilateral relations between the two countries in numerous areas.
Both parties also discussed various priority projects for consideration under the Saudi Arabia Development Fund, which Seychelles has previously benefitted from.
Minister Kattan’s visit to Seychelles was to personally convey a message of congratulations to President Wavel Ramkalawan on behalf of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia H.R.H Mohammed bin Salman following the presidential election results in October 2020 but due to travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trip has only been able to materialise now.
During his talks with President Ramkalawan at State House earlier that day, Minister Kattan announced that Saudi Arabia will make available US $1 billion towards the African continent to facilitate African countries with funding their various projects.
During his talks with the two ministers, Minister Kattan also spoke of investment opportunities in Seychelles that could be beneficial to both countries.
The meeting ended on a positive note with a declaration from Minister Radegonde: “We are delighted that a couple of weeks from now we will have direct air link between our two countries. This will facilitate better exchanges between our two peoples and make us better understand each other in order to create that friendship and cooperation for us to go forward.”
Flynas, a Saudi Arabian airline, will start operating direct flights to Seychelles three times per week from July 1 this year. Minister Radegonde commended this initiative and said this would provide more rapid transportation of both visitors and Seychellois nationals from Saudi Arabia to Seychelles and also generate economic growth for the country.
Press release from the department of Foreign Affairs