The Seychelles Foreign Affairs Department welcomed the new Chargé d’Affaires of the United States, Adham Loufti, on Tuesday.
Loufti was formally presented to the acting principal secretary for foreign affairs, Ambassador Selby Pillay, by the U.S. Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius, based in Mauritius, Henry Jardine, during his working visit to Seychelles.
The appointment of the new chargé d’affaires is part of an ongoing discussion to introduce a resident Ambassador to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
According to a press release from the U.S. Embassy, Loutfi said, “President Biden has emphasised that the future of this planet will be decided in Africa. The U.S. Embassy in Seychelles is about establishing partnerships that offer positive choices to Seychellois… In the coming months, we will announce some exciting collaborations with the Ministry of Education focused on English language teaching and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.”
According to the foreign affairs department, in his address, Pillay said, “We look forward to continue building on the excellent and robust collaboration we have with the United States of America, particularly in maritime security and combatting drug trafficking.”
Discussions touched on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine and both sides expressed their desire for a peaceful resolution.
Ambassador Jardine emphasised areas in which the U.S. government can support the Seychelles’ government, inclusive of building the capacity of the Seychelles Police and training opportunities for the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), said the statement.
The requirement to accelerate the proposal for a visa waiver agreement between the two countries was also discussed and will be facilitated by the chargé d’affaires, who is based at the U.S. embassy in Victoria.
Loufti succeeds Jim Donegan at the U.S. Embassy in Seychelles, which opened in June after a 27-year-hiatus.
Loutfi is a veteran diplomat, an Egyptian American with 20 years as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. He has worked for the U.S. Department of State in assignments that include Dhaka, Bangladesh; Podgorica, Montenegro; Tokyo, Japan; Kabul, Afghanistan; Dublin, Ireland; and Paris, France.
The two nations have cooperated in various areas in recent years, such as in signing a bilateral agreement on countering illicit transnational maritime activity operations in July 2021, while the two nations have also worked together in regard to the climate crisis, and drug trafficking, among others.