The Republic of Seychelles follows a foreign policy of ‘positive non-alignment’ and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, advocating for a reduced superpower presence in the Indian Ocean and the existence of the Indian Ocean ‘zone of peace’. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for coordinating Seychelles’s international policy, emphasising relationships with emerging and developing democracies. Seychelles maintains good bilateral relations and strong diplomatic ties with many countries, especially with its fellow member states in the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union and the Indian Ocean Commission, including Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and France. Seychelles is a member of the United Nations with a permanent mission to New York.
The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, India, China and Cuba maintain embassies in Seychelles. Consulates for Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, the Philippines, Slovakia and Sweden can be found in the capital city of Victoria, on Mahé Island. France is one of the Seychelles’s main trading partners and the French Embassy helps to maintain cultural ties while providing support for economic reforms and the rebuilding of the French language in Seychelles; relations were stressed for a period of time in the early 2000s due to unpaid debt owed to the French government but these issues have since been resolved. China developed diplomatic relations with Seychelles shortly after independence in 1976 to encourage economic and cultural cooperation and to provide medical assistance and educational aid. Both countries provide scholarships for Seychellois students to study abroad in their respective countries.
Seychelles maintains embassies, high commissions and consulates in nearly 60 countries around the world. Seychelles has a permanent mission to the United Nations in New York, as well as ambassadors to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and the Vatican, and recent missions to Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, China and India. As a member of the United Nations, Seychelles works towards global climate change awareness, combating piracy in the Indian Ocean and development of small island states. In order to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with its African Union neighbours, Seychelles maintains consulates in several African countries, including Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Embassies and other foreign missions can be contacted for information on consular matters such as visas, passports and travel.