Modi and Danny Faure agreed to work on Assumption Island naval base project

Vastavam web: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Danny Faure today agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project based on “each other’s interests”, days after reports from the island nation of it cancelling the pact with India to jointly develop a naval base there. After their comprehensive and “frank” discussions on key areas, including security, Modi also announced a USD 100-million line of credit to Seychelles, which Faure said would help boost his country’s military infrastructure.

“We have agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project based on each other’s interests,” Modi said at a joint press event with the visiting leader here. However, there has been growing political opposition in Seychelles, forcing Faure to say the country would develop military facilities at the island on its own and that the project with India “will not move forward”.

After his meeting with Modi, Faure said, “In the context of maritime security, the Assumption Island was discussed. We are equally engaged and will continue to work together bearing each other’s interests in mind.” The remarks assume significance as Faure, who faces domestic pressure over the issue, was quoted as saying by local media ahead of his visit that the joint project with New Delhi would not move forward. “Both India and Seychelles are key strategic partners for each other… Both countries respect the core values of democracy. We share the geo-strategic vision of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean Region,” the prime minister said.

Noting that India and Seychelles share robust defence and security cooperation, Modi said India would also hand over second Dornier aircraft to Seychelles tomorrow as promised by him during his visit there in 2015. The aircraft would reach Seychelles before its National Day on June 29, Modi added. “We face dangers of international crimes such as piracy, drugs, human trafficking and illegal explanation of oceanic resources,” Modi noted and assured India’s commitment to augment the island nation’s defence capabilities, maritime infrastructure and increase the capabilities of its defence personnel. With India’s support, Seychelles will be able to deal with both traditional and non-traditional challenges, Modi said.