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Thursday 2 April 2020

India, Seychelles to work on strategic Assumption Island naval base project

After their comprehensive and 'frank' discussions on key areas, including security, Modi also announced a $100-million line of credit to Seychelles, which Faure said would help boost his country's military infrastructure

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New Delhi: 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 $100-million line of credit to Seychelles, which Faure said would help boost his country’s military infrastructure.

India is keen on developing the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean as a naval base to expand its footprint in the strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its military presence. An agreement to develop the island was inked in 2015 between India and Seychelles.

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.

 

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