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India, Seychelles working together to ensure security in Indian Ocean: Seychelles

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of the Republic of Seychelles James Alix Michel

Chennai, June 9 (UITV)- Seychelles’ Tourism Minister Alain St. Ange, who was in Chennai to promote the Country’s tourism industry said, India and Seychelles have very close relations and both countries are working together to ensure safety and security in the Indian Ocean.

The minister said if India wants to play a role “in safeguarding the integrity of Indian Ocean, and wants to be with us, it’s all fair and good”.

Seychelles has allocated a plot on the Assumption Island for the base, which will help enhance maritime security along India’s west and south coast. The minister added that the work will start this year in the Assumption Island to jointly develop a naval base by India and Seychelles. However, the Minister said it’s not right to call the Assumption Island facility an Indian naval base; it’s a base of Seychelles to be built with support of India.

Mr. St. Ange also said India is an important source of tourism for the Seychelles, as economy of the Indian Ocean country is largely dependent of tourism. Last year, about 8,000 Indians traveled to Seychelles to spend holidays. Around 4,000 Indian tourists have travelled to Seychelles to spend holidays so far this year, said the Minister.

He added the main goal of this visit is to get more Indian tourists to visit Seychelles from different cities. “We are neighbors, and Indians can travel visa-free to Seychelles. The connectivity is also good. We have five direct flights a week from Mumbai at acceptable rates for a four-hour flight.”