19:10 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Seychelles

    India, Seychelles Revive Talks on Naval Base at Assumption Island

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    Seychelles President Danny Faure had recently announced that his government would not present the $500 million Assumption Island agreement for ratification to their Parliament, dealing a blow to India’s maritime aspirations in the Indian Ocean region.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has announced a $100 million soft loan to the Seychelles for defense as the two countries agreed to revive talks on the delayed Assumption Island project. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced on Monday that India would provide the Seychelles armed forces with a Dornier aircraft.

    "We have agreed to work on the Assumption Island project based on each other's rights," Prime Minister Modi said at Hyderabad House in New Delhi at the end of the bilateral meeting with Seychelles President Danny Faure. 

    READ MORE: Indian Ocean Could Be Heading for ‘Complexities’ if Chinese Presence Not Reduced

    Faure concurred, saying, "The Assumption Island project was discussed, we are equally engaged and will work together bearing each other's interests."

    Modi, who faced a volley of criticism after the Seychelles indicated it was calling off the Assumption Island naval base project, has also expressed his government's commitment to work with the Seychelles to help the 115-island archipelago combat traditional and non-traditional threats from drug trafficking to piracy. 

    India and the Seychelles signed six agreements on Monday, including small development projects involving the government, cybersecurity, exchanges between the Foreign Service Institute and the Seychelles' foreign office, white shipping agreements, a twin city agreement between India's Panaji and Victoria in the Seychelles, and cultural exchanges.

    The Indian government will also provide a loan for civilian projects in the Seychelles, including the building of the Government House, police headquarters and the attorney general's office.

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    Tags:
    bilateral cooperation, sea piracy, loans, naval base, development, Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Narendra Modi, Seychelles, India, Indian Ocean
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