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Opinion

Jaishankar Highlights Improved Bilateral Ties With Seychelles In Post-Covid Era

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Foreign Minister S Jaishankar emphasized India’s determination to further enhance the India-Seychelles strategic partnership in the post-Covid era while holding high-level talks with the country’s top leaders during his two-year visit. days to the key Indian Ocean nation.

Jaishankar was on a November 27-28 visit to Seychelles. He came here after his visit to the United Arab Emirates. He also visited Bahrain as part of this three-country tour, which began on Tuesday.

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During his visit, he visited the newly elected President of Seychelles of Indian origin, Wavel Ramkalawan, on Friday and congratulated him on his recent electoral victory.

During the meeting, Jaishankar and Ramkalawan discussed the historic neighborhood relationship strengthened by the shared belief in the values ​​of democracy and the rule of law. Jaishankar “reiterated India’s determination to further enhance the India-Seychelles strategic partnership in the post-Covid era,” according to a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

The minister also “spoke of the centrality of Seychelles in 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 the waters, Seychelles was also a very important part of the Neighborhood First policy, ”he said.

Jaishankar also carried a personal message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed an invitation from the Indian leadership to the President of Seychelles to visit India in 2021.

“We discussed our close security cooperation, our strong partnership for development and long-standing people-to-people contacts,” Jaishankar said in a tweet after meeting with Ramkalawan.

“He assured her that Seychelles had a particular priority, both under the Neighborhood First policy and the SAGAR perspective. We hope to further strengthen our ties under his leadership, ”he said.

The minister also recalled Ramkalawan’s visit to India in January 2018 and expressed confidence that under his leadership, the close ties between the two countries will develop further, he said.

Read also: S Jaishankar meets his UAE counterpart; analyzes Covid-19, strategic cooperation

President Ramkalwan welcomed the assistance provided by India during the pandemic in the form of critical medicines and medical supplies and appreciated the development and security partnership between the two countries. He also spoke of its positive impact on nation building in Seychelles. Jaishankar emphasized India’s commitment to supporting the interests and aspirations of Seychelles and taking this cooperation to a higher level.

The discussions underscored the need to further broaden and deepen bilateral engagement, and to coordinate and cooperate to counter the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the press release.

They highlighted the need to strengthen shared efforts to combat drug trafficking, IUU fishing (illegal, unreported and unregulated), piracy and climate change while protecting the ocean ecosystem. They also spoke on a wide range of regional issues that impacted on their respective interests.

Jaishankar also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Sylvestre Radegonde, and discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, including partnership for development, capacity building, defense cooperation, ties between peoples and cultures. , commerce, tourism and commerce and health, he said.

Jaishankar’s visit takes on significance as India is developing infrastructure in the country to expand its presence in the strategically key Indian Ocean region, where China has been trying to enhance its military presence. Indian-born President Ramkalawan won the presidential election on October 25 this year, the first such victory for an opposition candidate since independence. Born in Mahe, the main island of Seychelles, Ramkalawan was ordained a priest in 1985 after his theological studies at St Paul’s Theological College in Mauritius, and later at the University of Birmingham. His grandfather was from Bihar.

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