Victoria, Seychelles: President James Michel, the Commander In Chief of the Seychelles' People's Defence Forces, officially opened on Friday the new Seychelles Coast Guard Base at Ile Perseverance, built in cooperation with the UAE.

Opening the Base, Michel hailed the UAE's assistance and support in building the facility.

The President unveiled the Seychelles Coast Guard Base plaque, which was witnessed by Major General Eisa Saif Mohammad Al Mazroui, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, Mallallah Mubarak Al Ameri, UAE Ambassador to the Seychelles, as well as military and civilian dignitaries from the Seychelles and the UAE.

The base is a $15 million (Dh55 million) project which started in October 2010 and is a donation to the Seychelles from the Government and people of the UAE.

Maritime threats

During the inaugural ceremony, the Chief of Defence Forces of the SPDF, Brigadier Leopold Payet, delivered a speech in which he thanked President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the donation and continued support of the UAE in maritime defence and anti-piracy initiatives.

"This base is a testimony of the strong ties of friendship between our two countries. We thank our partners for their contribution. We are very proud today and very fortunate to have one of the most modern naval bases in the region. With this increase in our capacity to respond to maritime threats, and we will be better able to improve our resilience in a rapidly changing environment," said Brigadier Payet.

On his part, the Chief of Naval Staff of the UAE, Brigadier General Ebrahim Al Musharak, expressed his satisfaction at the completion of the project, and extended the support of the UAE Navy to the Seychelles Coast Guard.

"On this occasion we add another stone to our mighty wall of friendship... together we can contribute to a safer and more prosperous world," he said.