Sunday, January 17, 2021

Delhi’s $100M Gift a Bribe for Indian Military Base in Seychelles?

Has India commenced back-channel diplomacy to revive the Indian Military Base in Seychelles? A bilateral meeting between India and Seychelles was held in Delhi on Monday. After the bilateral meet with Seychelles President Danny Faure, the Indian PM said that the two nations will ensure steps pertaining to the plans for a Military Base at the Assumption Island in Seychelles. Will PM Modi convince President Danny Faure to set-up Indian Naval Base Seychelles, that they earlier refused? 

India has announced a wide range of initiatives for strategically located Seychelles. To bolster India-Seychelles diplomatic ties, India will grant a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Seychelles. This credit will be granted for the purchase of defence mechanisms and hardware.

Indian Military Base in Seychelles

Narendra Modi in his address post the bilateral meet said that the two nations have agreed to work for the welfare of each other on the project of Assumption island. This defence and security cooperation with Seychelles will be of great significance to India given the strategic location of Seychelles.

It was only last week that the National Assembly of Seychelles denied building the naval base that India planned to set up. Seychelles said that they would build their defence facilities by themselves. India has been keen to have a naval base at the Assumption Island to have a better command in the Western Indian Ocean.

After the meeting, Seychelles President said that both the nations will remain indulged in negotiations. He further added that both Seychelles and India will continue to work together keeping each other’s interests in mind. Now it remains to be seen as to how can this strategic partnership be carried forward without the ratification of the parliament of Seychelles. India however strongly maintained that it aspires to take its security and strategic collaboration with Seychelles forward.

Fancy Indian Gift for Seychelles

India has not only approved the line of credit for Seychelles but has also given Seychelles a hefty gift. India has gifted Seychelles a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles.  India has shown the willingness to invest in three projects of infrastructural development for the citizens of Seychelles. These projects include construction of Government House, New Police Headquarters and Office of the Attorney General.

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