Foreign Affairs

Statement delivered by President James A Michel on Desroches at the Madagascar meeting - 24th July 2012

Wed, 25 July 2012

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the immense pleasure of welcoming you here on Desroches island -- on Seychellois soil -- to talk about Madagascar, its people, its future, and also the future of the region.

We are very thankful to President Zuma who will join us tomorrow.  We have profoundly appreciated his leadership displayed in the context of the search for a solution to the Malagasy crisis.  I heartily welcome members of the troika and the SADEC delegation to our country and to our beautiful island of Desroches.  This encounter here on Desroches Island is a decisive moment for us to find a lasting solution to the challenges which Madagascar faces.

This is a unique opportunity. Let us seize it. We cannot allow ourselves to miss that opportunity to usher Madagascar in a new era of stability, development and progress.

As you know, the last summit of the SADC proposed an urgent meeting of Mr. Andry Rajoelina, the President of the Transition Authority, and Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, the former President, in the framework of the process to resolve the crisis in Madagascar. I had suggested to President Jacob Zuma, the chairman of the SADC Troika, that Seychelles would host this meeting. We are delighted that our proposal has been accepted. This meeting is a major and decisive event for Madagascar, and also the entire region.

From the beginning of this crisis the Indian Ocean Commission that I am chairing this year has always been at the side of Madagascar. It is involved in the efforts of the SADC, and playing the role of the organization of proximity, bound by historical and cultural ties that unite the peoples of this part of the Indian Ocean. We appreciate the considerable effort of the SADC to help Madagascar resolve its political issues. We supported the initiatives because we think they are of a nature that will effectively help the Malagasy population, and also because the return of stability in Madagascar is crucial for all countries of our Southern Africa, Eastern and Indian Ocean region.

This crisis has plunged Madagascar in deep economic and social difficulties. Its consequences weigh heavily on the daily lives of the population whose living conditions ceaselessly keep degrading. These conditions are today unbearable. Millions of Malagasies are sinking into extreme poverty. This is an urgent need to react before the political crisis leads to a social disaster. This crisis is also a handicap for all of us -- a big island that is stable and prosperous can offer so much to the region as a whole.  

Today, more than ever, Madagascar is at the centre of our preoccupations. A lasting solution has to be found. Madagascar needs the mobilization of all the international community, all the Malagasy political and economic actors, and the proven solidarity of all its friends and brothers. We also know very well that constitutional legitimacy and political stability are the preconditions for the return of aid donors and private investors.

This meeting is crucial for Madagascar and its future.

We wish that this historical meeting here in Seychelles, in one of the member states of the IOC and SADC, will be a significant breakthrough in this long period of political instability. We hope that it will lead to new prospects in Madagascar and the entire region.

Gentlemen the leaders of Madagascar, I know that you are determined in finding a lasting solution to the crisis. Your presence here is an attestation of this will.

The Malagasies want to be able to count on you, on your leadership, your patriotism, your sense of statesmanship, your capacity to put the general interest before personal and political interests. I know that you are aware that it is a must to avoid new sources of tension and personal confrontation, and to allow time to heal the wounds of these three years of crisis.  The means to do it are with you.

The international community is counting on your efforts, vision and your determination.

We all count on Madagascar and its numerous potentials to build together a stable and peaceful region, that will create the lasting conditions for the development and progress of our peoples.

Let us, together, build this future!

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