New Delhi: External Affairs Minister of India, H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar concluded his two day official visit to the Republic of Seychelles. His carrying a personal message from Prime Minister of India, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi underlined the importance that India attaches to its ties with Seychelles. During his visit, he called on H.E. President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House on 27th November, 2020. EAM also held talks with his counterpart H.E. Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles.
During his call on the President, EAM conveyed, on behalf of the people and the Government of India, congratulations to President Ramkalawan on his recent electoral victory. He recalled his visit to India in January 2018 and expressed the confidence that under his leadership, the close ties between the two countries would develop even further. He conveyed an invitation from the Indian leadership to President Ramkalawan to visit India in 2021.
During the meeting, EAM and the President discussed the historical neighborly relationship strengthened by shared belief in values of democracy and rule of law. EAM iterated India’s resolve to further enhance the India-Seychelles strategic partnership in the post-Covid era. He spoke of the centrality of Seychelles to India’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region) that characterized India’s policy towards the Indian Ocean Region. As a neighbor across waters, Seychelles was very much a part of the Neighborhood First policy as well.
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. EAM, on his part, emphasized India’s commitment to support the interests and aspirations of Seychelles and take this cooperation to a higher level.
Discussions 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. They stressed the need to strengthen shared efforts to combat drug trafficking, IUU fishing, piracy and climate change while protecting the ocean ecosystem. They also talked about a wide range of regional issues that impacted on their respective interests.
EAM also held Ministerial level talks with Seychelles’ Foreign Minister. The two Ministers discussed various aspects of bilateral relations including development partnership, capacity building, defence cooperation, people to people and cultural ties, trade, tourism & commerce, as well as health.