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Seychelles Founding President meets with His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE

Seychelles Founding President meets with His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE ( Seychelles Founding President, Sir James R. Mancham, was a guest of honor on Etihad’s first flight from Abu Dhabi to Seychelles on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. This morning from his Glacis-sur-Mer office in Mahé, Sir James Mancham issued a statement thanking the UAE Ambassador to Seychelles, HE Mallallah Mubarak Suwaid Al-Meri for organizing his 6-day visit to Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital.

“This visit has enabled me time to appreciate the dynamism, vibrancy, and confidence in the future, which characterize life in the UAE today, at a time when many nations further north are inflamed and many nations worldwide are facing tremendous economic challenges,” Mr. Mancham stated.

The former President said that the highlight of his visit was the open, frank, and friendly discussions he, as an elder statesman, had with the “forward looking” and “well-admired” Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Sheikh Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, at the Crown Prince’s Court on Monday, October 31, on different issues of global interest.

In this connection, it is to be noted that Sir James Mancham will be traveling to Manila in the Philippines on November 21 to receive the Gusi Peace Prize for statesmanship. The Gusi Peace Prize is generally known as the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia.

Following discussions, His Highness the Crown Prince invited Sir James to be his special guest at a lecture the Palace was hosting that afternoon on the subject of “Combining Resilience and Agility: Adjusting to the Realities of Global Re-Alignments.”

The lecture was delivered by Dr. Mohamed El-Erian, currently Chief Executive Officer of PIMCO, a global investment management firm and the world’s largest bond investor with approximately US$ 1.3 trillion of assets under management.

Dr. El-Erian spent 15 years at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, before becoming a member of the faculty of Harvard Business School. He served on several boards and committees including the US Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, the International Centre for Research on Women, and the IMF’s Committee of Eminent Persons. He is the author of “When Markets Collide,” a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller, which also won Goldman Sachs 2008 Business Book of the Year – a sentiment which was endorsed by the Economist and The Independent of United Kingdom.

The synopsis of the lecture was that the world is going through major re-alignments from the never-ending debt crisis in Europe to the continued emergence of China on the global economic scene and that all of us worldwide, from individuals to companies, governments, and multi-lateral organizations, must face the challenge of responding to these historic changes and that success in this important endeavor requires us to strike the right balance between resilience and agility.

Former President Mancham said that the lecture which was attended by a selection of five hundred eminent scholars and business personalities of the UAE, as well as the highest-ranking personalities within the government and ambassadors accredited to the UAE, was a sign, if a sign is needed, of the level of commitment of the government of the UAE to the promotion of awareness and education in the Emirates.

With specific reference about the growing relationship between the Seychelles and the UAE, Mr. Mancham said that he was greatly touched and moved when His Highness described Seychelles-UAE relationship more as “a love affair” than mere “friendship.” He repeated what he (Mr. Mancham) wrote in his autobiography – “The wealth from neighboring Arab States can play an important role in the proper development of our islands whose ‘primitive beauty’ has survived over the years through geographical isolation. But it is important that the relationship between the Gulf States and Seychelles develops in a comprehensively enlightened and positive way, which takes into account our common interest and in each other’s sensitivities.”

After the discussions with the Crown Prince, Sir James said that he was more than ever convinced that the relationship between Seychelles under President Michel and the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Sayed Al-Nahyan, was developing in the right and proper direction and that the people of Seychelles were becoming more and more appreciative of the role the UAE is playing in assisting Seychelles to solve some of its most urgent problems and to promote a high level of confidence in the islands’ future.

PHOTO: Seychelles Founding President, Sir James R. Mancham, and His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE / Photo from Seychelles Tourism Board

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St.Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email:

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