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Introduction: A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year...

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History: The Seychelles islands remained uninhabited for more than 150 years after they became known to Western explorers. The islands appeared on Portuguese charts as early as 1505, although Arabs may have visited them much earlier. In 1742, the French Governor of Mauritius, Mahe de Labourdonais, sent an expedition to the islands. A second expedition in 1756 reasserted formal possession by France and ...

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International Relations: Relations with the International Community

Seychelles follows a non-aligned foreign policy and aims to promote its reputation as a safe and secure tourist destination and a leader in environmental and conservation matters. Seychelles is an active member of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) which promotes economic co-operation between neighbouring islands in the area, as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union. In January 2006 the decision was announced to reopen the Seychelles Embassy in Brussels in the context of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union ...

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Political development proceeded very slowly. From 1814 until 1903, when the islands became a crown colony, they were granted increasing administrative autonomy from Mauritius. In 1888 separate nominated administrative and executive councils were established for Mauritius and Seychelles. Thus, for the first time, some landed white Seychellois were allowed to serve in official advisory positions. ...

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