India reaches out to Seychelles

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  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    President Patil has been on a visit to Seychells followed by South Africa

    The Hindu : News / National : India reaches out to Seychelles

    India on Monday extended a $50-million line of credit and a $25-million grant to Seychelles during President Pratibha Patil's ongoing three-day visit here in a bid to forge economic and strategic ties with this island nation in the Indian Ocean. It has also offered to set up a mono rail project, a solar power cluster and a dam in this country of 116 islands.

    At the end of the bilateral talks between the countries, Secretary (West) M. Ganapathy said the President's first leg of the 10-day visit to Seychelles and South Africa has been received as a “special moment” in this island nation. He said various issues of bilateral and regional importance were discussed during the meeting of Ms. Patil with Seychelles President James Alex Michel at the State House on the second day of her visit.

    To show its intent to help Seychelles out economically, India extended a line of credit and a grant. Now, Seychelles would have to revert with how it intends to use these. The official said India would also help establish the financial and online service sector and the laying of an under sea optical fibre network by June would assist in taking a step forward.

    In the field of environment protection and renewable energy, India would be setting up a solar power cluster. Besides, for promoting human resource development, it would reserve 41 slots or seats in various graduate, post-graduate and other programmes for students of Seychelles.

    India would also promote infrastructure and public transport by conducting a feasibility study for a mono rail system on the main island of Mahe.

    In defence cooperation, the official said India had in February offered to provide one more Dornier aircraft. It would also be setting up a Coastal Surveillance Radar System with the Automatic Identification System through Bharat Electronics Limited within the next six to eight months. This would help track unidentified vessels in the seas and help curb piracy.

    Following the meeting with the President of Seychelles, Ms. Patil also received the Vice President and other Cabinet Ministers. Two agreements related to Youth and Sports Affairs and training of Seychelles police personnel by Bureau of Police Research and Development were also signed. Ms. Patil expressed satisfaction over the present state of economic-commercial relations between the two countries but noted that “considerable opportunities still exist for further expansion, particularly in the areas of trade and economic cooperation.”

    In his response, Mr. Michel said: “All Indian Ocean states have been affected by piracy and this scourge has also had an impact on trade around the world.”

    Mr. Michel thanked India for its “support in the fight against piracy” and said “we look forward to the installation of the new radar system, which will better protect our ocean.”

    Ms. Patil also addressed the National Assembly of Seychelles in its new building, in what the Ministry of External Affairs termed as an “opportunity of commitment of the world's largest democracy to the world's smallest democracy.”

    The President said the issue of piracy, though not new, had brought a new dimension to the threat terrorism posed to the peaceful Indian Ocean.

    “This is affecting India as well as Seychelles, and many other countries by threatening the security of our sea-lanes of trade and communication. India acknowledges the immense courage and conviction demonstrated by Seychelles in tackling the problem of piracy, ” the President said.

    Ms. Patil said: “India would continue to extend cooperation to Seychelles in the fight against piracy, as has been the case during the last few years,” adding that Indian naval ships make regular visits to Seychelles to safeguard the Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles.
     
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  3. ejazr

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    Seychelles says it would be 'rock of dependability' for India - India - DNA

    Seychelles, a strategically located archipelago in the Indian Ocean, today 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," Michel said.

    Michel said 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 foras 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 yesterday 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.

    This will be the second presidential visit to Seychelles, the strategically located island in Indian Ocean, after that of President R Venkataraman way back in 1989.

    India has assured Seychelles that it was determined to work together to ensure a secure environment and counter the Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

    "The Indian Ocean is a strong bond between us. We are committed to work together closely in order to ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region in the face of threats of piracy and terrorism," Patil had said yesterday.

    India has provided defence equipment and gifted a naval patrol vessel "INS Tarmugli" in 2005. It also has Maritime and Naval advisors in this strategic island country.

    Indian Navy is actively engaged in patrolling the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone against Somali pirate activities.

    An Indian Naval Dornier aircraft is currently stationed here to assist Seychelles in the anti-piracy operations.

    Most of the senior officers in the Seychelles People's Defence Forces (SPDG) and Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) have attended various courses in Indian Defence establishments.

    The Republic of Seychelles is an African country located in the mid-western part of the Indian Ocean. With a population of just 90,000 plus, it is a group of 116 islands of which about 15 are inhabited.
     

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