Navy chief pays 3-day visit to Seychelles

New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar has held extensive talks with the top civilian and military brass of Seychelles to further boost bilateral maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

During his three-day visit to the strategically located island nation from April 21 to 23, Admiral Kumar met President Wavel Ramkalawan, Foreign Minister Sylvestre Radegonde and Brigadier Michael Rosette, the Chief of Defence Force (CDF), officials said on Saturday.

“The interactions of the Chief of Naval Staff at Seychelles set in motion a promising trajectory of further growth in the scale and scope of bilateral defence engagements founded on the principles of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region),” an Indian Navy spokesperson said.

He said the discussions covered a wide range of issues of mutual interest including maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region and avenues to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation.

Admiral Kumar presented a navigation chart of Port Victoria prepared by the National Hydrographic Office (NHO) of India under an MoU on bilateral hydrographic cooperation.

During the visits to various units of Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) and interactions with the leadership, the Navy Chief reminisced his own experiences as the then Naval Advisor to the government of Seychelles in 2001-02, the spokesperson said.

He also highlighted the significance accorded by both countries to a collaborative approach toward maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

While the CDF hosted the Navy Chief for a luncheon at SDF headquarters, the SDF leadership attended a reception onboard the Indian Naval ship, Sharda.

The reception was hosted jointly by Gen (retd) Dalbir Singh Suhag, the Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles, and Admiral Kumar.

INS Sharda is currently in Seychelles after escorting Coast Guard Ship Zoroaster, a vessel sourced from an Indian shipyard in 2021 by that country. PTI MPB ZMN

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