NEW DELHI: India today handed over a second Dornier aircraft to Seychelles for enhancing the country’s surveillance capabilities to tackle maritime threats.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while handing over the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) made aircraft to the Seychelles President Danny Faure here said, “To enhance the surveillance capability of Seychelles to tackle maritime threats, our Prime Minister had announced the gifting of a second Dornier aircraft during his landmark visit to Seychelles in March 2015.”

She added that today marks a “historic day” with the fulfilling of this commitment by handing over the state-of-the-art aircraft to Seychelles.

“It is gift from India ahead of the celebrations to mark the National Day of Seychelles on June 29. I am sure, this aircraft will give a quantum enhancement in maritime reconnaissance and contribute towards keeping the vast EEZ of Seychelles free from maritime threats,” she said.

India and Seychelles have always been strong security partners, said Swaraj. Indian Naval ships are regularly deployed to undertake patrol of the extensive Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles.

“India also remains committed to support Seychelles through capacity building, especially in the field of maritime security,” she said.

“As maritime neighbours, we are committed to securing our oceanic space for sustained development. Securing our seas will ultimately lead to creating a peaceful environment for the progress and prosperity of our two countries and peoples,” she added.