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Sir James Mancham of Seychelles to be part of Think Tank hosted by Hoover's Institute of War, Revolution and Peace of Stanford University in the USA

Sir James Mancham of Seychelles to be part of Think Tank hosted by Hoover's Institute of War, Revolution and Peace of Stanford University in the USA ( Seychelles founding President, Sir James R. Mancham, is on his way to the USA, where he is to participate in a high-profile Think Tank hosted by the Hoover's Institute of War, Revolution and Peace of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, from May 2-4, 2012, where he will speak on “The Indian Ocean, China's penetration in the zone, Piracy, and the US military presence in Diego Garcia."

In a statement, Sir James has said that his main focus on this trip to the USA will be a call to the US Government to re-open its Embassy in Seychelles.

During the Cold War period when Seychelles became an independent sovereign nation in 1976 under the Presidency of Sir James, the USA established full diplomatic relations, and over the years, several respected American diplomats served as Ambassador from their Port Victoria Embassy.

Sadly, after the Cold War, the US closed its Embassy and Cultural Center in Seychelles and got its Ambassador in Mauritius to look after its Seychelles diplomacy. Notwithstanding this move, the US navy has paid and continues to pay regular calls to Seychelles for “rest and recreation," and over recent months, the US Air Force has stationed drones at Seychelles International Airport, which resulted into two recent crashes at the Seychelles International Airport.

At the moment, China, India, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and even Cuba have resident Ambassadors in Seychelles. For Sir James, the current situation constitutes an anomaly, which must be rectified by the “world only superpower." Sir James will be having talks in Washington DC and has requested for a meeting with the State Department to raise this issue.

Sir James quoted what a former US Ambassador to Mauritius and Seychelles, John N. Price, wrote in his recent autobiography, “When the White House Calls."
He said: “As I said, employing only a part-time foreign service national consular agent instead of establishing an American presence post makes no sense to me - especially if the United States is intent on knowing what is going on inside the country and within the region. Seychelles is a voting member at the UN; thus, we need their support continually on important issues, such as the global war on terror and the International Criminal Court Article 98 non-surrender issue. We constantly had to do business long distance, by telephone or e-mail, or else lose four days' worth of precious time by flying in and out of Seychelles on limited flight schedules.

“China, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, India, and Cuba have active embassies and consulates in Seychelles looking out for their interests. I strongly believe the United States must maintain an American presence in the Seychelles. Let us not forget that Diego Garcia, our most important military base, is located only 1,000 miles from Mahe."

Sir James has been preoccupied with the issue of an American ambassadorial presence in Seychelles over the last 10 years. He wrote about it in his book “War on America – seen from the Indian Ocean,” published by Paragon House, USA, in 2002 and in his autobiography, “Seychelles Global Citizen,” also published by Paragon House in 2009.

PHOTO: Seychelles founding President Sir James R. Mancham


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