ID :
Wed, 03/11/2015 - 13:36
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India, Seychelles sign 4 pacts to boost security cooperation

Victoria, Mar 11 (PTI) Cementing its strategic partnership with Seychelles, India today signed four agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation to boost security and maritime partnership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here yesterday on a brief visit on the first leg of his three-nation tour, today held talks with Seychelles President James Alix Michel and said Seychelles "is a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood". "Short it may be, but this visit has been very productive. It is no surprise that Seychelles is my first destination in the Indian Ocean Region," Modi, the first Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years, said. Late premier Indira Gandhi had visited the country in 1981. Meeting the press after his meeting with Michel, Mod announced that India will give a second Dronier aircraft to the country. He also launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries. "Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region," he said, calling the country as a trusted friend and strategic partner. "It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities," Modi said, adding these steps will enable Seychelles to secure these beautiful islands and the vast expanse of waters around them. "Seychelles will also continue to make an enormous contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region," he said. Modi and Michel witnessed the signing of four agreements: cooperation in hydrography, renewable energy, infrastructure development and sale of navigation charts and electronic navigational charts. "Our agreement today on hydrographic survey adds a new dimension to our maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India," Modi said. "We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka," he said. Prime Minister also announced that India would grant free visas for three months to the citizens of Seychelles. "We will also extend to you the facility of visa-on-arrival," he said. PTI