The new British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Lindsay Skoll, has paid a courtesy call on Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture.
Minister St.Ange said that he valued the strong ties that exist between Seychelles and the UK. “The Seychelles history is linked with Great Britain, and we need to work to ensure that our historical ties continues to be built on for the benefit of both our countries and of our people,” Minister St. Ange said. The Seychelles Minister said that he remained committed to working closely with the new British High Commissioner.
“With your predecessor Mathew Forbes, we developed an excellent working relationship between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the British High Commission. I am hoping that we can work together to build on that relationship, which could open up new grounds for cooperation. Seychelles has a history of 165 years as a British colony, the longest and a remarkable component of our history. It is important that we work together to better showcase this colonial era. We have taken a decision to now celebrate Commonwealth Day, and in Seychelles we should join forces to ensure it not only features on the list of events hosted by Seychelles, but that it becomes the celebration we would all want it to be. Seychelles has multi-racial ties because of our past history: French, African, British, Indian, and Chinese, and each of these ties must be recognized and celebrated accordingly,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture added that the Culture department of his Ministry was working on a project to eventually convert “La Bastille” building into a museum village, and he appealed to High Commissioner Skoll to look into the possibility of helping Seychelles obtain copies of more of the island’s historical treasures sitting in the UK.
The British High Commission Lindsay Skoll said that Britain has decided that it is implementing an integrated approach of representation in the Indian Ocean region and is expanding its diplomatic services in Seychelles.
She also outlined that she is “keen to work with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor.”
The British High Commissioner has also given her commitment to pushing forward existing projects between the British High Commission and the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
In the field of tourism, Mrs. Skoll has raised what she described as a preoccupying issue of the British visitors in regard to the cessation of direct flights from Seychelles to London and vice-versa. Minister St. Ange has re-assured her that Seychelles is conscious of this preoccupation and said that Seychelles continues to discuss the direct nonstop flights issue.
The honeymoon visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was also tabled during the discussions. “Their honeymoon was, and their honeymoon should have remained a private affair. Seychelles prides itself on privacy of its guests, and we were saddened to see the article in the Australian Magazine with pictures taken of the honeymoon holiday of Prince William and of Kate Middleton. It should not have happened, and we distance ourselves from that report. As the then CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, I had the pleasure of meeting the royal visitors on the day of their departure from Seychelles, and I will be writing personally to them to apologize for that breach in what Seychelles says it offers – privacy,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.