New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hailed the “strong and vibrant ties” between India and Seychelles, the Indian Ocean archipelago nation with which India has close defence and security ties.
Modi met with a Seychelles parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Patrick Pillay and including Leader of Government Business Charles De Commarmond, which is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
During Modi’s visit to Seychelles in March 2015, both countries had inked an agreement to develop infrastructure on Assumption Island, which lies 1,140 km southwest of the mainland of Mahe, and is one of the 115 islands that constitute Seychelles.
India, after leasing Assumption Island, began preparations for infrastructure development, including quarters for the Seychelles Coast Guard and fixing the airstrip on the remote island where there is very little human activity.
India and Seychelles have had cooperation in the field of defence and maritime security for many years, which has seen India helping to patrol the Seychelles waters and gifting several equipment to the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF).
Among the equipment gifted by India was a patrol ship to the Seychelles Coast Guard.
During Modi’s 2015 visit, India announced gifting of a second Dornier surveillance aircraft to the Seychelles Coast Guard to increase maritime security. India gifted Seychelles its first Dornier in 2013.
During his meeting with the Seychelles parliamentary delegation on Thursday, Modi welcomed increased exchanges between the legislatures of both countries and also appreciated their role in upholding strong and vibrant ties between India and Seychelles as close partners, including in the Indian Ocean”, a PMO statement said.
India sees Seychelles as a key partner in exploiting the blue economy and Modi visited that country in March 2015 with this as part of his agenda.
The two countries also have an elaborate architecture of defence and security with the growing menace of piracy and other economic offences in the strategic Indian Ocean region
“The delegation shared their perspectives with Prime Minister on further strengthening cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries,” the PMO statement said.
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