New Delhi, Apr 8 (Mayank Nigam) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reaffirmed India’s commitment to maritime security of Seychelles, saying the archipelago is central to India’s vision of security and growth for all (SAGAR) in the Indian Ocean Region. He also extended India’s support to Seychelles’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and fight climate change.
Taking part in a virtual event with President Wavel Ramkalawan, Modi said India and Seychelles shared vital partnership in the Indian Ocean neighbourhood. “Seychelles is central to India’s vision of SAGAR, security and growth for all in the region,” said the prime minister and handed over a new, state-of-the-art Made-in-India Fast Patrol Vessel to the Seychelles Coast Guard. The islands in the Indian Ocean are critical to the security architecture of the Indian Ocean Region. These islands play a vital role along the sea lines of communication by giving easy access to navies’ continued presence and allowing them to patrol and secure the lanes during the time of peace and war.
The Fast Petrol Vessel ‘PS Zoroaster’ will help Seychelles in carrying out anti-piracy operations. India gifted similar vessels to the Seychelles in 2005, 2014 and 2016. India and Seychelles have enhanced their strategic partnership in the post-Covid era. Modi said India is honoured to have played the role of a strong partner of in the fight against COVID-19, supplying essential medicines and 50,000 doses of Made-in-India vaccines. Seychelles was the first African country to receive the vaccines. President Ramkalawan described India as a trusted partner. “The support we have received from India has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Seychelles,” he said.
The virtual event also saw the handing over of 10 high impact community development projects, implemented by the High Commission of India in collaboration with local bodies, educational and vocational institutions. The two nations will commemorate the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in less than two months. In his address, Modi also spoke about climate change that adversely affect island countries. “Therefore, I am happy that today we are handing over a one mega watt solar power plant in the Seychelles built with India’s assistance,” he said. During the event, the leaders inaugurated a 1 MW solar power plant, and the Magistrates’ Court building project in Mahe, the largest island in the archipelago. The Magistrates’ Court will help Seychelles in centralising the legal and administrative processes that are spread over different regions of the country.