Cablegate: October 2 Letter to President Georgr W. Bush From
DE RUEHPL #0365/01 2940941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200941Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4240
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
UNCLAS PORT LOUIS 000365
AF/E FOR MARIA BEYZEROV
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON RFIN SE
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 2 LETTER TO PRESIDENT GEORGR W. BUSH FROM
SEYCHELLES' PRESIDENT JAMES A. MICHEL
1. (SBU) On October 20, Post received an original signed letter and
official diplomatic note -- postmarked and dated on October 14 --
from President James A. Michel addressed to President George W.
Bush. The letter is a Government of Seychelles request for USG
assistance during the early stage of their economic reform program
as endorsed by the International Monetary Fund. On October 20, Post
sent the official signed documents via diplomatic pouch to AF/E
Seychelles Desk Officer, Maria Beyzerov. Post also forwarded
scanned copies to AF/E via email.
2. (SBU) Following is the full text of President James A. Michel's
letter in original form. Begin text:
2nd October 2008
H.E. Mr. George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
Dear Mr. President
The Republic of Seychelles has recently approached the International
Monetary Fund for endorsement of a wide-reaching reform programme
which is set to restructure our country's economy.
My country is currently facing many major economic challenges
characterized by balance of payment shortfalls and a heavy debt
burden. The pressure from these challenges has been exacerbated by
rising fuel and commodity prices as well as shocks in the
international financial system.
The programme under discussion will essentially address the
--Complete debt restructuring through Paris Club negotiations
--Floating of our national currency
--Tightened monetary policy to control liquidity while also ensuring
that savings and investment are incentivised
--A more efficient Government through further downsizing
--Further improvement in fiscal control both through increased
revenue and curbing public expenditure
As we implement these reforms, we are mindful of maintaining our
country's social cohesion. We must ensure that the more vulnerable
segments of our society are protected through the establishment of
an appropriate sustainable safety net.
Seychelles has achieved a lot with the help of its partners, notably
the United States. We have graduated to the status of
'middle-income country' thanks to our high ranking in terms of our
Human Development Index (HDI) and we are also well on track towards
achieving our Millennium Development Goals.
Our relatively high ranking in terms of our HDI however does mean
however that we are not among the countries eligible for direct
As we enter into these reforms, we are thus appealing to the United
States of America to consider a special grant to assist us at the
start of these reforms. This grant will allow us to have the
necessary cushion to take us through the difficulties of
implementation at the early stage. We are also open to discussion
on any other means of support that you would consider appropriate.
We are encouraged that the IMF has placed social stability as one of
the core principles in the initial discussions we have had with
them. However, the very nature of the type of programme to be
implemented will mean that my Government will have fewer resources
to invest directly in crucial areas that have been the key to our
success in the past. The reform of our currency will also place
pressures for possible investment flight, thus the need to establish
a reserves cushion to ensure currency stability.
We know that reforms are necessary, and we want to implement these
reforms in such a way that everyone benefits and that our
achievements are not put at risk- and we are asking for your support
to be able to achieve this.
The Republic of Seychelles stands on the cusp of a transformation
that can truly allow our country's economy to take off, and we look
forward to your continued support for the steps that lie ahead.
Please accept, your Excellency, the assurances of my highest
James A. Michel
End of text.
3. (SBU) Post stands ready to assist in delivery and/or creation of
response as appropriate.