FS Var Docks in Victoria, Seychelles
At the end of April 2015, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150) flagship FS Var visited Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles situated in the Indian Ocean to meet the Seychelles high representatives and Coast Guard.
Seychelles are already fully integrated into the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) organisation and have contributed to their missions on several occasions. CTF 150’s mandate is about promoting the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment by countering terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund their operations or conceal their movements throughout the region.
Captain (Capt) Crignola, French Navy, Commander of CTF150 (CCTF150) had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Charles Bastienne, Minister for Home Affairs and Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
CCTF150 also met Brigadier General Leopold Payet, Seychelles People’s Defence Forces Chief of Staff. Both authorities shared their views on the regional maritime environment and exchanged views and information on common maritime security concerns. CCTF150 also highlighted the role played by Seychelles, as a leader for maritime security in Indian Ocean and East Africa.
It was clear from the discussions that whilst piracy activities are decreasing in the region, the Seychelles are just as concerned by other regional threats such as drug smuggling and terrorist activities. Furthermore, Seychelles are strategically located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which makes the archipelago a key place in terms of maritime security awareness and logistical support for CTF150’s ships.