India lends $100 million for Seychelles defence

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New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) India on Monday announced a $100 million line of credit to Seychelles to strengthen its defence capabilities and maritime infrastructure even as the two countries decided to work together in the interest of each other on the controversial deal on Assomption Island, where India wants to build a strategic facility.

“I feel pleasure in announcing a credit of $100 million for Seychelles defence. With this credit Seychelles will be able to buy defence equipments from India to build its maritime capacity,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a joint press meet with Seychelles President Danny Faure after talks between the two leaders at Hyderabad House here.

Faure is on his first bilateral visit to India at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. He visited Ahmedabad and Goa before landing in Delhi.

Modi said India was committed to help Seychelles strengthen its defence capabilities, maritime infrastructure and increase the capability of its defence personnel.

With India’s support, Seychelles will be able to tackle both traditional as well as non traditional maritime challenges and will be able to safeguard its maritime resources, Modi said.

The agreement was signed by the two countries during Modi’s first visit to the Indian Ocean archipelago nation in 2015, allowing India to build naval facilities on Assomption Island. The opposition in Seychelles is opposed to the pact.

“On the issue of Assomption Island, we are ready to work together on the basis of each other’s interest,” Modi said.

Expressing the intention to continue the dialogue on the issue, Faure, too, said, “In the context of maritime security, Assomption Island was discussed. We are equally engaged and will continue to work together bearing each other’s interest in mind.

“We have underscored our commitment to remain at the heart of joint initiatives and collective efforts to stimulate and facilitate cooperation in fields representing priorities on the sub-regional, regional and continental agendas,” Faure said.

During Faure’s visit, the two countries added six new agreements covering significant sectors of development including culture, cyber security, maritime safety and security cooperation, diplomacy and infrastructure development.

“We will benefit from a second line of credit that will help the infrastructure of our military (and) defence forces in Seychelles. Through a grant, we will build a new government house. We will also build a new police headquarters and a new building for the Attorney General’s office,” Faure said.

Modi said the Dornier aircraft India was proposing to give to Seychelles would be there before its National Day on June 29.

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