(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles regards St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a great partner in its efforts to bring to thees forefront of all global dialogues the challenges faced by Small Island Nations, President Danny Faure said on Friday.

Faure hosted a cocktail reception for Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who is on a two-day state visit to Seychelles.

During the reception, President Faure formally welcomed and thanked the Prime Minister for accepting to be the Guest of Honour during the National DayCelebrations on Saturday.

“Our island nations although oceans apart are linked by the powerful bonds of our shared history, our common language, and our strong cultural links. Your presence here today, Excellency, is a true testimony of the warm friendship between our nations,” said Faure.

The head of state of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, said that Seychelles and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are guided by the same values, deeply committed to democracy, the rule of law, peace and shared prosperity for our people.

“Moreover, as Small Island Developing States, we share the conviction that the natural beauty and environment of our countries are not gifts to be taken for granted, but precious resources that must be protected,” he added.

“We are convinced that through our continued engagements our countries will build upon firm foundations in areas such as sustainable development, climate resilience, blue economy, and cultural preservation.”

Faure reiterated the commitment of Seychelles towards deepening the bonds of friendship and bilateral relations with St Vincent and the Grenadines.

On his side, Gonsalves said, “I would like to reaffirm the commonalities that exist between our two countries and people. Islands are peculiar entities under one nation-state umbrella.”The relations will focus on elevating cooperation to the highest level, through exchanges of expertise, people-to-people connections, continuous dialogue and more importantly and working on common platforms to foster global solidarity on matters of critical importance.

He said that “in that context internally we have our map laid out in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations which we adopted in September 2015. You can twist them in or out.”

“Almost everything that we do you can adopt that as an appropriate framework. One of those goals entices us to have a partnership with other countries. It is important that the ground rules laid in the charter of the United Nations;  quality of state, non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, engage in unilateralism, don’t try to use force, it is better for people to talk than fight are respected by every nation,” Gonsalves added.

Like Seychelles, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a small island state. Located in the Caribbean, it has a population of about 110,000 people, just more than Seychelles’ approximately 95,000 people.

“In this globalised political economy, Small Island States have very unique problems and challenges and the circumstances forged within us manifest ideas which we can bring to the table of international affairs. We can make an important contribution to global peace and shared prosperity,” said Gonsalves.

Several activities are organised to commemorate the day, including a military parade at the Unity Stadium at Roche Caiman a central district on the main island of Mahe as of 6 p.m.

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