Indian Ocean Diplomacy: Seychelles-India Connect

Think of Seychelles, and India always looms large in this enchanting archipelago country better known for beauty pageants, honeymooners and luxury holidays. Trade, Training, Technology, Temples and yes, Tata buses and tortoises… These are multiple strands that form the exquisite mosaic of contemporary relations between India and Seychelles, the 115-island archipelago country of haunting beauty. Fittingly, Seychelles forms the first destination of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-nation voyage (March 10-14) to littoral states of the Indian Ocean, which also includes Mauritius and Sri Lanka. It’s an epic diplomatic odyssey as this is the first time an Indian prime minister will be travelling to three littoral countries and underlines the growing salience of the Indian Ocean in India’s diplomatic-strategic matrix and calculations. Prime Minister’s Modi trip will underscore Seychelles’ unique place in this configuration.

There have been many presidential visits from India to this African littoral nation, the last one being President Pratibha Patil’s trip to Seychelles in 2012, but this will be the first prime ministerial visit to this strategically located country after a gap of more than three decades. Mrs Indira Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to visit Victoria in 1981.

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