By Shane McGinley
Emirates agrees to supply Indian Ocean state with equipment to protect against attacks.
The UAE has agreed to supply the Seychelles with facilities and equipment to help in the Indian Ocean state’s battle against pirate attacks, it was announced on Monday.
The deal was agreed during a one-day visit to Abu Dhabi by James Michel, president of the Seychelles.
President Michel had talks with the Abu Dhabi naval forces concerning military cooperation with the Seychelles People’s Defense Forces.
“We need to prepare ourselves in the long term to fight piracy as the Somali mainland problem and piracy will not be solved soon,” said President Michel.
He added that Abu Dhabi had agreed to give the Seychelles assistance with surveillance equipment and additional expertise in maritime defence. The partnership will also look at develop a mechanism for protecting Seychellois fishermen from attacks when they go out to sea.
The announcement is the latest in a series of links between the Middle East and the archipelago nation of 115 islands located 1,500 km east of mainland Africa.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, is building a six storey palace compound on the main island of Mahe.
Abu Dhabi's Masdar has signed a deal to investigate the possibilities for wind power on the holiday hotspot, while in April a technical delegation from the Abu Dhabi ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE had discussions with the Seychelles Public Utilities Corporation regarding the installation of two new electricity generators on Mahe.
Other Gulf links to the Seychelles also include the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company’s 50 percent stake in the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa and Saudi Arabia's Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdel Aziz al Saud’s stakes in the Raffles hotel and Four Seasons hotels.