Seychelles President Danny Faure arrived in Gujarat on Friday evening for his six-day visit to India. His visit comes days after the government in Seychelles called off a $550 million (Rs 3,760 crore) joint project with India to develop a naval base at the archipelago nation’s Assumption Island.
Faure would visit the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the Sabarmati Ashram later on Saturday, PTI quoted officials as saying. He is also scheduled to visit the Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar, where 18 police officers from Seychelles are undergoing training. He will then meet Gujarat Governor OP Kohli before leaving for Goa on Sunday.
On Monday, Faure will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. He will then meet President Ram Nath Kovind and hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will also address the India-Seychelles Business Forum.
On June 4, Faure had said that he will not discuss the military base project with Modi on his state visit.
The pact with Seychelles was first announced during Narendra Modi’s visit to the archipelago nation in 2015. The deal faced hurdles and former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had to make an unannounced visit to Seychelles in October 2017 to resolve the differences. He visited the country again in January to sign the renegotiated agreement.
In March, copies of the classified agreement were leaked online, amid allegations that the Seychelles government had “sold off” Assumption Island to India. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Seychelles in May but was reportedly unable to revive the deal, according to The Times of India.
The deal would have helped India ensure the safety of its vessels in the southern Indian Ocean. Indian soldiers would also have been deployed on Assumption island.