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Victoria, Seychelles

India and Seychelles signed a revised agreement on the Development, Management, Operation and Maintenance of Facilities, that will allow India to build military infrastructure on Assumption Island at Seychelles, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office here on Saturday.

The agreement was signed by Foreign Secretary of India S. Jaishankar and Seychelles President Danny Faure.

After a brief meeting with Jaishankar, Faure, said, “Today, we have signed a revised version of the agreement for the development of facilities on Assumption Island. This project is of utmost importance to Seychelles, and it attests to the kinship and affinity that exists between our two countries. We are proud to have India as a partner in realising our development aspirations.”

The original agreement was signed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Seychelles President James Michel. But, it was not ratified by the Seychelles Parliament, leading to delays.

In August last year, Faure stated that the agreement had some “issues” and it would have to be re-negotiated again.

Foreign Secretary Jaishankar flew into Seychelles in October and started the re-negotiations over the original agreement. Some amendments were proposed and the Seychelles Parliament had ratified it ultimately, after Faure had consulted with the opposition parties and his cabinet on January 22.

“The (Seychelles) cabinet agreed on the main purpose of the agreement which is to provide a framework for assistance to the Government of Seychelles, by the Government of India to enhance the military capabilities in control and maritime surveillance of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), protection of our EEZ and the outer islands and search and rescue in the region for the benefit of air and shipping traffic,” a statement was issued by the Seychelles Parliament after the revised agreement was ratified. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi made a visit to the island nation after 34 years. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi earlier visited Seychelles back in 1981.

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