India, Seychelles agree to cooperate on anti-piracy efforts
New Delhi: India and Seychelles today agreed
to cooperate in the global efforts at fighting piracy in the
Gulf of Aden that was adversely impacting business due to the
threats posed to cargo ships sailing through the Indian Ocean.
Seychelles President James Alix Michel, who held
wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here,
said the two countries would make efforts to make the sealanes
in the Indian Ocean safer.
"India and Seychelles have agreed to work together in
controlling piracy in the Indian Ocean, so that we can try to
make sure that this area is safer for economic development,"
Michel said addressing business chambers here.
"Both India and Seychelles are facing the same threat from
piracy to its shipments," he said, adding geographically, the
two countries shared common maritime domain in the Indian
Somali pirates, who mainly operate in the Gulf of Aden,
have lately spread their tentacles in the Indian Ocean even up
to Seychelles waters.
There have been several piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean
including close to Seychelles, causing concern for the
business community in India and rest of the world.
Following a request from Seychelles, India has on several
occasions sent its Naval warships to the Seychelles waters
over the last one year to counter Somali pirates.
The Indian warships' presence in Seychelles waters was
also to prevent terror threats through the sea route to
Seychelles, which has a strong offshore sector, and industrial
That apart, Seychelles also has several marine and aqua
culture projects, oil exploration and trans-shipment of goods
between Asia, Middle East and Africa. The island nation has
also developed its outer islands for eco-tourism projects.
On his meeting with Singh, Michel said they had "very
good" discussion and were able to agree on various ways and
possibilities for both the countries to further enhance
"friendship, collaboration and cooperation for future