NEW DELHI: Indian Foreign Minister's trip to Seychelles is the first in-person visit to Seychelles since the Covid pandemic and affirms India’s role in maintaining peace & stability in the Southern and Western Indian Ocean region — key element in Delhi’s Indo-Pacific vision.

This is first high level interaction after the national elections in Seychelles. The main objective-to meet newly elected President Ramkalawan and present greetings of PM.

S Jaishankar is carrying a letter from PM to President as Delhi seeks to understand his development priorities to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Seychelles side has made an exemption allowing the visit to take place. Country is otherwise under strict quarantine norms. Jaishankar will be the first high level visitor he will be receiving.

Since the introduction of the multiparty democracy in 1993, all previous governments in Seychelles have followed an ‘India First’ policy.

Seychelles was the first destination of Prime Minister during the Indian Ocean tour in 2015 after which he also visited Sri Lanka and Mauritius. This was the first Prime Ministerial level visit to Seychelles after a gap of 33 years.

India has tried to broad base its relationship through development cooperation and assistance in the form of grants and concessional loans.

Out of the 5 National Priority projects, support for the 3 projects has been publicly announced during the visit of President of Seychelles to India in June 2018. The 3 National Priority Projects (NPPs) – construction of a new Government House (USD 63.66 Million), Police Headquarters (USD 13.92 million) and Attorney General’s office (USD 13.38 million) are being implemented.

A Magistrate Court building project is under construction in Seychelles. India has extended cash grant of USD 3.5 million in June 2017 for the project. The project began in September 2018 and the construction has been competed in October 2020.

Phase 1 of the High Impact Community Development (HICDP) is currently under implementation in Seychelles with GoI grant assistance. 19 projects out of the 33 projects have been completed. The projects have been widely welcomed and appreciated in Seychelles and have enabled us to reach out to the public at large with people-oriented works.

A project for installation of 1 MW ground mounted Solar PV system at Romainville Island is currently underway and nearly complete.

Seychelles was among the first few countries to receive support from India in the fight against COVID-19 which included over 4 tonnes of life saving medicines including 50,000 tablets of HCQ.