Terming Seychelles as a “trusted friend and a strong strategic partner” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wrapped up the first leg of the three nation tour of Indian Ocean countries with both nations underlining the need for comprehensive cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
“Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfill our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” Mr. Modi said. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years.
Highlighting India’s push for regional integration Mr. Modi said:“We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.”
In his meeting with President of Seychelles James Alix Michel, Mr. Modi announced that India will give a second Dornier aircraft to the Island nation for coastal surveillance and called it a “privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities.”
The two nations signed four agreements for cooperation in hydrography, renewable energy, infrastructure development andhydro-graphic survey. Another important agreement is forinfrastructure development in the Assumption Island.
"Our agreement today on hydro-graphic survey adds a new dimension to our maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India," Mr. Modi said.
Mr. Modi also inaugurated the first of the eight Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems (CSRS) being set up by India. India is helping Indian Ocean littorals as part of capacity and capability enhancement in strengthening their maritime domain awareness capabilities.
Stressing on economic and developmental cooperation, Mr. Modi said: “Indeed, Seychelles is one of the largest recipients of Indian assistance in this area. We intend to expand this further in the future.”
In the next stop in Mauritius, Mr. Modi will be Chief Guest at the Independence Day celebrations on March 12 and alsocommission MCGS Barracuda - an offshore patrol vessel - built by India.