Both countries have a collaborative approach towards maritime security in the Indian Ocean

Continuing with his ongoing tour to the South West Indian Ocean Region, India's Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral R Hari Kumar visited Seychelles from April 21 to 23.

During the visit, he called on President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde and the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) of the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Brigadier Michael Rosette.

The discussions covered a wide range of issues of mutual interest including maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region and avenues to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday.

The CNS also presented a Navigation Chart of Port Victoria, prepared by the National Hydrographic Office (NHO) of India, under the MoU on bilateral hydrographic cooperation.

During the visits to various SDF units and interactions with the leadership, the CNS looked back upon his own experiences as the then Naval Advisor to the Government of Seychelles in 2001-02 and complimented the SDF on the development of maritime capabilities as well as their progressive outlook.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the CNS also highlighted the significance accorded by both countries to collaborative approach towards maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

In this context, he deeply appreciated the active participation of Seychelles in the Goa Maritime Conclave, MILAN and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). Earlier, CDF, Seychelles had attended MILAN-22 at Visakhapatnam in February 2022.

Notably, INS Sharda is currently in Seychelles after escorting Coast Guard Ship Zoroaster, a vessel sourced from an Indian Shipyard (GRSE, Kolkata) in 2021, back to Seychelles after her recent deployment to India for participation in MILAN-22 and Guarantee Refit.

The CDF expressed a very high regard for the professional refit of Zoroaster in India and thanked the CNS for the excellent support extended by Indian Navy. In addition, he gratefully acknowledged the prompt medical evacuation of a crew member of Zoroaster on 14 Apr 22, from sea by an Indian Navy helicopter.

The interactions of the CNS at Seychelles set pace for a promising trajectory of further growth in the scale and scope of bilateral defence engagements, founded on the principles of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region) and the ‘Five S’ Vision of Sammaan (Respect) – Samvaad (Dialogue) - Sahyog (Cooperation) – Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity) articulated by the Prime Minister of India.