India and Seychelles Enhance Security Cooperation

By admin • July 20th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – On July 19, India and the Seychelles agreed to take forward their cooperation to tackle the spread of piracy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). On the request of the Seychellois leadership, India also agreed to extend help for maritime and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance operations and capacity building of its Forces.

A press release issued by the Indian Defence Ministry said the decisions were taken at the series of meetings that the visiting Defence Minister AK Antony had with President James Alix Michel, the Vice President Danny Faure, the Minister for Home Affairs Mr Joel Morgan and the Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam in Mahe.

Antony is leading a high-level delegation, which included the Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and the Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral DK Dewan.

Antony said the problem of piracy in the Gulf of Aden affects all countries of the world. He shared the concerns of the Seychelles on the increasing reach of the pirates. “This is a problem which calls for cooperation among all countries. The Indian Ocean links us all and is critical for our economic interests. We must cooperate to ensure peace and stability in this region”, he said.

Antony reiterated New Delhi’s assurance, as conveyed by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during President Michel’s visit to India earlier, for continued cooperation in all fields particularly in the field of Defence and Security. The Prime Minister had announced a $5 million assistance for Defence related projects for Seychelles.

Over and above this, on a specific request from the Seychelles, Antony agreed to provide one new Dornier and two Chetak helicopters from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for maritime surveillance, at the earliest. Although the normal delivery time is 18 to 24 months, he said, New Delhi will try to supply the aircraft in 15 months. During this period, India will provide one of her in-service Dornier Aircraft to carry out maritime surveillance.

Agreeing to a request from the Seychellois side, Antony said India will help them to carry out EEZ surveillance as frequently as possible. He said the Indian Navy will also make additional visits this year to conduct surveillance and hydrographic surveys. During these visits, Seychellois personnel can embark on board the Indian Navy Ships for maintenance training and conduct drills and exercises.  Antony also agreed to offer help for capacity building of the Seychellois Forces.

source: India Defence Online

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