India, Seychelles talk of ‘mutual welfare’

India and Seychelles will ensure mutually beneficial steps regarding stalled plans for a military base at the island of Assumption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
Speaking at Hyderabad House here after a bilateral meeting with the visiting Seychelles President Danny Faure, Mr. Modi announced several initiatives for the strategically located country, including the grant of $100 million Line of Credit for the purchase of defence hardware. “On the project of Assumption island, we have agreed to work for the welfare of each other,” said Mr. Modi.
The statement is the first from the Prime Minister since the National Assembly of Seychelles last week refused to ratify the naval base that India has been planning to build on Assumption to provide a foothold in the western Indian Ocean.
Inhis remarks, Mr. Faure said that both sides would remain engaged on the issue. “[We] will continue to work together, bearing each other’s interest in mind,” he said.
It is not clear how both sides would take the project forward in the absence of a parliamentary ratification.However, India made it clear that its security and strategic cooperation will go ahead.
On the line of credit, Mr. Modi said, “I am happy in announcing a $100 million line of credit for Seychelles that it can use to buy military hardware from India for building its maritime capacity,” adding that the two countries have convergence of views on the geostrategic importance of the Indian Ocean region. He also declared that both sides would intensify cooperation to carry out hydrographical studies of the maritime region and have declared exchange of necessary oceanic maps between two sides.