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Anti-piracy cooperation tops Seychelles Prez`s agenda

India and Seychelles are expected to sign a number of agreements during President James Alix Michel`s visit, which is also aimed at expanding the security and anti-piracy cooperation between the two countries.



New Delhi: India and Seychelles are
expected to sign a number of agreements during President James
Alix Michel`s visit, which is also aimed at expanding the
security and anti-piracy cooperation between the two
countries.

Michel, who is arriving here today on a three-day
visit, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on
bilateral issues, including discussions on ways to enhance
cooperation in anti-piracy operations.

Describing the ties between the two countries as
"close and friendly" which are underlined by "mutual
understanding", official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said
India has been providing a "wholesome" support to that country
and was involved in development of its human resources.

He said a number of agreements are expected to be
signed between the two countries during Seychelles Prez`s
visit.

Besides enhancing cooperation in anti-piracy, the two
leaders will be focusing on security and defence collaboration
considering Seychelles, an archipelago nation of 115 islands
in the Indian Ocean, is facing persistent threat of piracy
that has adversely affected its tourism-centric economy.

The Seychelles economy has been hit badly by the
increasing incidents of attacks by Somali pirates on
commercial ships, cruise liners and private boats, costing it
around 8 billion euros a year.

India has gifted Coast Guard vessels and has deputed
experts to help Seychelles counter the threat of piracy,
Gurjit Singh, joint secretary (East and South Africa), told
reporters here. Many of the Defence Force officials and Coast
Guard have also been trained by India.

India is also in the process of setting up an IT
centre, costing around 1 million USD, in Seychelles and has
undertaken a school library project there, he said.

PTI

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