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President James Michel’s press statement to the media, following bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 26th August 2015

27.08.2015

First of all, may I express my immense joy, in being in India, once again.

It is always with great enthusiasm that I return to your country to feel the heartbeat of the world’s largest democracy and the modern economic dynamism of a nation which is an inspiration to all.

I am deeply touched by the warmth of your welcome and hospitality.

My visit comes barely five months after the memorable and fruitful visit of Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles in March of this year. It illustrates the unique and special relationship that our two countries share, based on our shared values and aspirations. It is a relationship which is strategic, historical, multi-faceted and longstanding.

The vibrant Indian community in Seychelles which is part and parcel of the long history of our country and which shapes our common destiny, is a catalyst in bolstering this strategic partnership and our convergent bilateral interests.

Our common goals in the Indian Ocean and the importance we attach to the strengthening of our only pan Indian Ocean organisation, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, have also been of critical importance in imparting both substance and momentum to our relationship.

This visit and my extremely fruitful and constructive discussions with you, Mr. Prime Minister, have reinforced my conviction in the strength and importance of this partnership. More agreements that have been signed today in Finance, Agriculture, Maritime Security, the Blue Economy, and Air Connectivity have paved the way for the enhancement of our bilateral relations.

I have reiterated to you, Mr. Prime Minister, Seychelles’ appreciation for the financial support of India, which will make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of my country.

I have expressed my gratitude for India’s commitment to further expand its partnership in the development of human resources and capacity building. This will help us to reinforce our resilience as a nation and to meet our vision of people- centred development.

I have also expressed my gratitude for the donation of another Dornier aircraft. It will significantly reinforce our security capabilities in terms of surveillance of our ocean space, and that of the Indian Ocean region as a whole.

Seychelles has expressed its willingness to be a partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

We are pleased to have India as a partner in the development of our Blue Economy. Our cooperation in this field gives us the chance to build economic opportunities while also sustaining future generations.

Prime Minister Modi and I have underscored the need for a more comprehensive and significant economic partnership in terms of trade, investment and related activities. We want it to be a partnership which drives economic growth, wealth and prosperity for our two nations.

It is in this spirit that we will be meeting the business and trade community of India this afternoon to deliberate with them and to identify opportunities for trade, business and investment.

We have welcomed enhanced air connectivity between our two countries which will boost business, tourism, trade, cultural activities as well as people-to people exchanges and the development of human relationship.

Global challenges have also created synergies between our two countries and shaped our relationship.

Prime Minister Modi and myself have expressed our conviction of the need to adapt the United Nations Security Council to the realities and requirements of the new century.  I have reiterated my appreciation for India’s support to the position of Small Island Developing States and to Africa in regards to this reform. This support is the more crucial as we seek to define the post-2015 development agenda and as we seek to finalise an agreement on climate change. Seychelles and India have strong convergent views on climate change and have called for an ambitious agreement at the Paris Conference.

This visit has reinforced our relationship and strategic partnership to a new level. Prime Minister Modi and I have expressed our commitment to continue working closely together in order to continue building a vibrant and dynamic future for Seychelles and India.

I look forward to another visit of Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles and to a longer one this time.

I thank you.

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