India-Seychelles: Assumption Island Project

Context:
  • China’s moves and increasing presence in Seychelles
  • Differences over the development of infrastructure in Seychelles
ias4sure.com - India-Seychelles Assumption Island Project
Seychelles:
  • Seychelles has said it would like to take a “relook” at the agreement between the two countries to build military infrastructure on Assumption Island
  • The agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Seychelles in 2015
  • Officials in Seychelles have said the agreement does not have legal backing on their side, whereas it has legal basis in India
Particulars of the agreement:
  • The agreement will enable India to help Seychelles build military infrastructure for the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) on Assumption Island
  • The infrastructure also includes residential barracks for SPDF’s Coast Guard and fixing up the jetty and existing airstrip for the SPDF
Concerns of India over China’s presence in Seychelles
  • According to Indian intelligence reports, there has been a sharp spike in the number of Chinese visitors in Seychelles over the last six years — from about 500 in 2011 to over 15,000 in 2016
India’s relations with Seychelles:
  • The two countries have an established relationship in defence and maritime security, through which India helps to patrol the waters of Seychelles and gives equipment to the island nation’s defence forces
  • In recent years, India has agreed to help Seychelles map its hydrology reserves, launched a coastal surveillance radar project and boosted security cooperation with the nation
  • India will also give a second Dornier maritime patrol aircraft
Denial by Seychelles:
  • President of Seychelles: Joint project to develop naval base at Assumption Island in his country will not move forward.
  • This statement comes after growing political opposition in Seychelles to agreement that was signed with India in 2015.
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