EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) French flagship FS Marne visited the Republic of the Seychelles for between 6 – 10 July 2012 and EU Force Commander Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis welcomed the opportunity to strengthen the cooperation and coordination in the fight against piracy between the Seychelles and EU NAVFOR.
EUNAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Dupuis was received at “State House” by Mr Michel, President of the Republic of the Seychelles. During their meeting, they welcomed the positive developments in counter-piracy since the beginning of the year, and the reduction in pirate attacks. Aware of efforts by the European Union, the Seychelles President expressed his warm appreciation and reiterated the commitment of the Seychelles to maintain its own efforts in the fight against piracy, especially in legal matters, ensuring the prosecution of pirates transferred by operation Atalanta and other counter-piracy forces. The fate of two Seychellois fishermen still held hostage in Somalia was also addressed.
In parallel with this meeting, 8 Coast Guards participated in a half-day training of close-combat on board FS Marne. These courses are organized regularly by the EU NAVFOR ships and improve cooperation and information exchange between the EU and the regional countries in the fight against piracy.
On 10 July Rear Admiral Dupuis and staff officers visited the Coast Guard’s base. They demonstrated how they conduct surveillance of the vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Seychelles (1.33 million sq km) in coordination with international forces fighting piracy such as EU NAVFOR.
The Republic of the Seychelles is an important regional player in the fight against piracy. Port Victoria hosts 2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft chartered by Luxembourg and engaged in Operation Atalanta.