India and Seychelles to further strengthen defence cooperation

New Delhi: Seychelles had declared the cancellation of the agreement with India to develop a military base and infrastructural facilities on the strategically important ‘Assumption’ island in the Indian Ocean. But Seychelles President Danny Faure, who is on a visit to India, has expressed willingness to work on the ‘Assumption Island’ project with India after discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Six important agreements were signed between India and Seychelles on Monday and a decision to develop defence cooperation between the two countries was also taken. Prime Minister Modi also announced a loan of $ 100 million to Seychelles.

india, seychelles, defence coopration, narendra modi, chinaPrime Minister Modi and Seychelles President Danny Faure had discussions on some important issues. India has strengthened its military and trade cooperation with Seychelles in the last few years. But in the last week, Seychelles suddenly announced the cancellation of an important agreement with India for development of the Assumption Islands. This was considered to be a jolt for India. While China is trying to increase its influence in the Indian Ocean, it was strategically very important for India to gain control over the Assumption Islands. But Seychelles backed out because of the mounting pressure from within the country. As this decision was taken only 10 days prior to President Danny Faure’s visit to India, it attracted attention.

In the joint declaration issued by Prime Minister Modi and President Faure after the discussions on Monday, it was announced that the decision to work together on the Assumption Islands project had been made. The work on the project will be carried out keeping in view the bilateral interests. The Prime Minister said that the discussions with President Faure were successful. India is committed to increase the defence capabilities and to develop infrastructural facilities in the marine sector for Seychelles. Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that this will enable Seychelles to face the challenges in the marine sector more effectively.

While strengthening the military cooperation with Seychelles, Prime Minister Modi also announced a loan of $ 100 million to Seychelles. With these funds, Seychelles can buy the necessary defence equipment from India. India had promised that it will give the Dornier surveillance aircrafts to Seychelles. Prime Minister Modi also assured that the second Dornier aircraft will be delivered before the Seychelles National Day on 29th June.

Meanwhile, the six important agreements signed with Seychelles include agreement for hydrographic surveying for marine communication and information exchange about the movement of the ships in the marine sector.

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