“Seychelles is a model in debt-for-environment swaps, says Maldives’ parliament speaker
Seychelles is seen as a model for other Indian Ocean Island states in the field of debt-for-environment swaps, the Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, said after he met President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday. Nasheed is also the former President of the Maldives.
Nasheed told reporters that he has requested the president and Seychelles to explain to other island countries the work that they have done in debt restructuring, especially on debt-for-environment swaps.
“This is an area where Seychelles has more experience than other islands. I think it is for the benefit of all the islands – Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, La Reunion, Comoros – when we are linked together and working with each other. I think that with your government we can achieve that,” said Nasheed.
During the meeting, Nasheed and Ramkalawan also touched on topics dealing with the environment and corals, where the Maldivian invited the Seychelles’ President to a coral festival expected in the Maldives next year.
During the coral festival in 2020, Maldives celebrated the importance of coral reefs and encouraged debates about how best to protect them.
On the topic of fisheries, Nasheed said that like for Seychelles, this sector is a significant livelihood for the people of Maldives.
He spoke about the management of tuna in the Indian Ocean and said that “The Maldives always stresses upon the fact that it is the method of fishing that is very important. Yes, we have to maintain the Indian Ocean stock, and we have to all look after our environment. At the same time, we also have to be mindful of methods of fishing.”
Nasheed said both countries have a lot in common, especially now that President Ramkalawan, after a long struggle, won with his party, the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), the presidential and legislative elections in 2020.
“This is something that we are also trying to do in the Maldives. We share a lot of similarity in ideology and outlook,” he added.
Nasheed, 55, is on an official visit to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, until July 28 at the invitation of the Seychelles parliament speaker, Roger Mancienne.
He is currently serving as the 19th Speaker of the People’s Majlis, the Maldivian legislative body, since May 2019. He was the President of the Maldives from 2008 until he resigned in 2012.
According to PSM News, Mancienne outlined in his invitation letter that “Maldives and Seychelles are similar in the challenges that both respective countries face, as well as having mutual interests and goals.”
Mancienne highlighted the importance of working together to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.