New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday (April 8) that Seychelles is central to India’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), after handing over a fast patrol vessel to the island nation at a virtual event.

The Prime Minister jointly inaugurated with Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan a solar power plant, a court building, and 10 community development projects. The patrol vessel as well as the three other projects were part of India’s development assistance to the strategically located island nation.

Referring to the handing over of the patrol vessel, PM Modi said, “India and Seychelles share a strong and vital partnership in the Indian ocean neighborhood. Seychelles is central to India’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ — ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’.” 

Reiterating India’s commitment to strengthening the maritime security of Seychelles, the Prime Minister said that India was able to supply essential medicines and 50,000 doses of ‘Made in India’ vaccines to Seychelles during times of need, adding “Seychelles was the first African country to receive the ‘Made in India’ COVID-19 vaccines.”

Talking about climate change, PM Modi said it poses a special threat to island countries, adding “I am happy that today we are handing over a one megawatt solar power plant in Seychelles built with India’s assistance.” 

Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan said his country wants to deepen ties with India and added today’s event as a “defining moment in the annals of bilateral ties”

He appreciated the solidarity shown by India over the years and said that the support they have received from India has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of their country.

Ramkalawan further said, “In little less than two months, we will be commemorating the 45th anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Seychelles and India. The support we have received from India has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Seychelles.”

He also lauded India`s support on the COVID-19 vaccine front, adding that Seychelles is nearing its target of achieving 70 per cent of herd immunity by the end of this month due to the precious donation of vaccines by India.

“What better example of Indian solidarity than your spontaneous donation of 50,000 doses of Covishield vaccine. If we are nearing our target of achieving 70 per cent of herd immunity by Apr 2021 and have re-opened our country to business, it is due to this precious donation,” he added.

Notably, the new magistrates’ court building in the capital city Victoria is India’s first major civil infrastructure project in Seychelles built with grant assistance. It is a state-of-the-art building that is expected to substantially enhance the capacity of the Seychelles judicial system and aid in better delivery of judicial services to the people of the country.

The 50-meter-long fast patrol vessel is a modern and fully equipped naval ship that has been made in India by GRSE, Kolkata, and is being gifted to Seychelles under Indian grant assistance.

(With Agency Inputs)

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