Sat, 03 Dec 2022

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): To forge closer ties with neighbours in the Indian Ocean region, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra interacted with "media friends" from Seychelles and Sri Lanka who are on a week-long familiarisation visit to India beginning Thursday.

"Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra interacted with our media friends from Seychelles and Sri Lanka who are on a week-long familiarisation visit to India beginning today. Another step towards closer ties with our neighbours in the Indian Ocean region," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

Amid the unfolding great maritime game in the Indian Ocean, the importance of Seychelles to India's strategic calculus cannot be overstated. Situated only 600 miles east of Diego Garcia, the US air and naval base, the Indian Ocean archipelago is becoming a hub of geopolitical competition, an MEA press release had said.

Moving beyond defence, it's in the areas of development and capacity building that the India-Seychelles partnership shines forth. Think of Seychelles, and India always looms large in this enchanting archipelago country better known for beauty pageants, honeymooners and luxury holidays.

There have been many presidential visits from India to this African littoral nation. Culturally, the Indian diaspora remains the flag-bearer of Indian traditions and values. Persons of Indian Origin have been among the earliest inhabitants of this island nation.

Moreover, India has come to rescue Sri Lanka which is currently under a severe economic crisis. The island country is facing an acute shortage of foreign currency along with a food and fuel crisis.

On the other side, under the 'neighbourhood first policy', India has responded with urgency to the government of Sri Lanka's request for assistance in overcoming hardships and will enhance economic linkages between the two countries be it through infrastructure connectivity and renewable energy.

In line with its "neighbourhood first" policy, India has been highly active to help Sri Lanka during its economic crisis. (ANI)

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