Defence

PM Modi to hold virtual summit with newly elected India-origin President of Seychelles

By Tribune India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual summit with the newly elected India-origin President of Seychelles who holds the key to India’s bid to set up a naval base on this strategically located Indian Ocean island.

In his interaction with Wavel Ramkalawan, PM Modi will announce India’s participation in a new magistrates’ court building, hand over a new naval ship, inaugurate a mini solar plant and announce 10 high impact community development projects.

India was well on course for a naval base in Seychelles when in 2015, PM Modi signed an agreement with Ramkalawan’s predecessor Danny Faure who visited India in 2018 to affirm the pact.

But Bihar-origin Ramkalawan’s party in coalition with three other parties shot down the agreement on environmental grounds as the site, Resumption Islands, is close to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Now, with the priest-politician Ramkalawan himself as President, PM Modi would be hoping to resuscitate the project.

India’s ultimate game plan is to achieve greater proximity with four island nations in the Indian Ocean—Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles – that are collectively called Vanilla Island nations.

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