India and Seychelles discussed various issues including development partnership, capacity building and defence cooperation

India reaffirmed its support to Seychelles and has vowed to enhance its relationship with the nation in the post-COVID era during the External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar’s recent visit to the East African Nation.

During his two-day visit which concluded yesterday, he met with the newly elected President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan and his counterpart, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Tourism of Seychelles, Sylvestre Radegonde.

Congratulating the newly elected Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan , the EAM expressed hope that under his leadership, the close ties between the two countries would develop even further.

Conveying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal message to him, EAM Jaishankar invited President Ramkalawan to visit India in 2021.

Both nations cheered the historical ties saying that they share belief in values of democracy and rule of law. The EAM said that Seychelles has an important part in India’s vision of Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) saying that Seychelles has always been a part of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy.’

Taking to twitter, he said, “Assured him that Seychelles had a particular priority, both under the Neighbourhood First policy and the SAGAR outlook. Look forward to further strengthening our ties under his leadership.”

The two sides discussed various issues ranging from development partnership, capacity building, defence cooperation, people to people and cultural ties, trade, tourism & commerce and health.

Writing to twitter, the EAM said, “Thank Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan for receiving me today. Conveyed the greetings of PM @narendramodi and handed over a personal message. Discussed our close security cooperation, strong development partnership and long-standing people-to-people contacts.”

On the other hand, President Ramkalwan appreciated the assistance provided by India during the pandemic in the form of medical supplies and critical drugs. He valued the development and security partnership between the two countries and spoke of its positive impact on nation building in Seychelles.

Promising India’s further support, S Jaishankar emphasized India’s commitment to support the interests and aspirations of Seychelles and take this cooperation to a higher level.

The talks were also held between the EAM and his counterpart Sylvestre Radegonde. They both discussed various issues including defence cooperation, capacity building, tourism and commerce as well as health.

Both nations underscored the need to further expand and deepen bilateral engagement, and to coordinate and cooperate to counter the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need to strengthen efforts to combat drug trafficking, IUU fishing, piracy and climate change while protecting the ocean ecosystem were also discussed. They also talked about a wide range of regional issues that impacted on their respective interests.