India and Seychelles signed six memorandums of understanding during President Danny Faure’s visit to New Delhi on Monday, PTI reported. Faure held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House on the fourth day of his first bilateral visit to India.
Details of the six agreements are yet to be disclosed.
“India and Seychelles are committed to maintaining peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region,” Modi said in a joint statement with Faure after the talks. “We have agreed to work on the Assumption Island project based on each other’s rights.”
He added that the Indian government had given Seychelles $100 million (Rs 681 crore) on credit for the defence sector, ANI reported.
The Seychelles government 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 days before Faure’s visit. On June 4, Faure had said that he will not discuss the military base project with Modi on his state visit.
However, on Monday, Faure said the project had been discussed and the two countries would work together.
Earlier in the day, Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind gave the visiting president a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also met him and discussed better bilateral cooperation in key areas such as capacity building and human resource development.
Faure had arrived in Gujarat on Friday evening for his six-day visit to India. He visited the Sabarmati Ashram and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad on Saturday. He met Gujarat Governor OP Kohli before leaving for Goa. He arrived in New Delhi on Sunday. Faure will address the India-Seychelles Business Forum on Monday.
The Assumption Island pact with Seychelles was first announced during Narendra Modi’s visit to the country in 2015, but faced political opposition there. In March, copies of the classified agreement were leaked online, amid allegations that the Seychelles government had “sold off” Assumption Island to 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.