Seychelles, a strategically located archipelago in the Indian Ocean, on Monday assured India that it would be a “rock of dependability” for New Delhi in the area and thanked it for the support in combating piracy.

During a meeting with visiting President Pratibha Patil, her Seychellian counterpart James Michel thanked India for supporting his country in the fight against piracy.

“We thank India for all its support in the fight against piracy. Our armed forces work together very effectively,” Mr. Michel said.

Mr. Michel said Ms. Patil’s visit emphasised the importance that the two countries placed on their bilateral relations and Seychelles has positioned itself “as a rock of dependability for India in the Indian Ocean region.”

“India can always count on Seychelles and I know that we can always count on India. We share a strategic partnership and also a natural partnership,” he said.

President Patil also thanked Seychelles for supporting India at various international forums including its backing for India’s candidature in a reformed United Nations Security Council.

The two countries also signed two MoUs including one on police research under which police personnel of the island republic will receive training from India to combat piracy and other challenges.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of President Patil and her Seychelles counterpart Michel. The MoUs were signed by Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot and Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam.

The second MoU was on cooperation in youth and sports affairs.

President Patil arrived here on Sunday on the first leg of her two-nation visit to boost India’s friendly ties with the African country.

Possibly on her last foreign visit as President of India before she retires on July 25, Patil will spend two days in this country before heading to South Africa tomorrow for a week-long visit.