Seychelles and the United States will continue collaboration in maritime security, social and economic development as well as providing more flexibility for the US visa process as a top agenda, the newly accredited American ambassador to Seychelles said.
Henry Jardin made the statement to the press after presenting his credentials to President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday at State House, Victoria.
He said that the issue of a visa waiver is of great importance to the Seychelles’ President.
“We are looking at how we can be supportive on the matter. There is sort of a series of steps or procedures that have been put in place, one of them being the new biometric passport that’s been put in place. There’s also law enforcement agreements and some other areas that have to be assessed,” said Jardin.
“I would add that we have been looking at providing more flexibilities for the visa process and I would note that for individuals that have an existing visa that is still valid and seek to renew, they may not have to do an interview. We are looking at how we can do interview waivers for those individuals who have visas, have traveled back and forth, and have had no issues. We do want to look and see how we can provide more flexibility on the visa piece,” he added.
During his meeting with the President, the ambassador discussed how Seychelles and the U.S. can collaborate on areas such as maritime security, social development, and economic development, promoting and speaking about the issues of democracy.
“We talked about how Seychelles has made great strides in developing its democratic institutions and to really be a model for the region, in Africa and the Indian Ocean as well,” Jardin shared with the press.
Talking about U.S. engagements made to African countries during the recent African Leaders’ Summit, Jardin said “we are looking at how we can support Seychelles in areas related to the environment, and its economic development.”
“We’ve seen some great initiatives here in Seychelles related to the Blue Economy and the blue bond, swapping debt for grants and programmes to help improve the maritime environment. I think there are these kinds of areas that we’re going to be pursuing and hopefully linking back to the African Leaders’ Summit programme,” said Jardin.
During his visit to Seychelles, Jardin will be calling on several high government officials such as the foreign affairs minister, internal affairs minister as well as senior law enforcement officials.