The Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel, welcomed President Jacob Zuma of South Africa early this morning on the latter’s arrival at Seychelles International Airport. The two heads of state are joining their respective delegations and also members of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Troika on Desroches island for a second day of negotiation with the head of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar, Mr. Andry Rajoelina, and the deposed President, Mr. Marc Ravalomananna.
“We are thankful to President Zuma who has joined us today. This encounter on Desroches island is a decisive moment for us to find a lasting solution to the challenges which Madagascar faces,” President Michel said.
Yesterday, President Michel held discussions with both Malagasy leaders separately before they met each other for further discussions under his chairmanship. In his introductory statement to kick-start the discussions between the two leaders, President Michel expressed the hope that this meeting, which he qualified as “historic,” on a remote island in Seychelles, will lead to a significant breakthrough in the long period of political instability of Madagascar. He further emphasized the deep social and political difficulties which are weighing heavily on the people of Madagascar. “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,” President Michel said.
The negotiations continue today and are co-chaired by President Michel and President Zuma.