President James Michel of the Seychelles has commended the commitment of President Jacob Zuma, the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defense, and Security, as well as the Malagasy leaders, for their efforts to find a solution to the Madagascar crisis.
“It is an honor to receive the delegations in Seychelles, where we have, in our humble way, tried to assist in finding a solution for the peace and stability of our sister-country, Madagascar. We believe in the need to establish peace and find the path to progress, and the talks in Seychelles have allowed both parties to make progress and share ideas on the way forward.”
The President made the statement following the full day of talks organized by the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defense, and Security at the Ephelia Resort, Port Launay yesterday.
The meeting of the Madagascar President of the Transition Authority, Andry Rajoelina, and the former President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, was hosted by President Michel, and was chaired by the Chair of the Troika, President Jacob Zuma. Also present were SADC Executive Secretary, Tomaz Saloma; Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of the South Africa, Marius Fransman; the Seychelles Foreign Minister, Jean Paul Adam, as Chair of the IOC Council of Ministers; as well as representatives of Tanzania, and the co-chairs of the Troika.
Seychelles has been invited to participate in wider consultations with stakeholders in Madagascar following the conclusion of the second round of talks between Malagasy leaders, Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, in Seychelles today.
In a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon, Minister Jean-Paul Adam explained that Seychelles would be participating in the mission at the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika on Politics, Defense, and Security. Though not a member of the Troika mandated to address the on-going crisis in Madagascar, Seychelles has been invited in recognition of its contributions to the talks and as holding the Presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
“Following this set of talks we are very clear on the positions of both leaders, but what is also clear is that wider consultations are key for a durable solution to the crisis,” said the Foreign Minister.
“This issue is bigger than a disagreement between two people,” added the Minister, “We must also look at the wider issues and ensure that the gains and progress towards democracy made today, last for tomorrow.”
The Minister explained that this SADC mission was charged with consulting with a wide group of people, which included other local stakeholders of the SADC Roadmap and other important sectors such as the military, religious representatives, and the non-governmental sector.
Minister Adam, who is the current Chair of the IOC Council of Ministers, added that President James Michel and the Seychelles government remained committed to playing whatever role is necessary to bring this crisis to an end for the benefit of the Malagasy people and for the region as a whole:
“We want to get to a place where the people of Madagascar have confidence in their democratic system, and we are encouraged by the fact that a date has been set for elections next year, and we are pleased with the momentum added by these concluded talks, and now I feel we are in the home stretch towards free, fair, and credible elections in Madagascar.”
Minister Adam will be joining the South African Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, who is also the Special Envoy to Madagascar, in Madagascar tomorrow.