NEW DELHI: Underlining close bonds of friendship with Seychelles which has stood the test of time, President Pranab Mukherjee has said operationalisation of the Coastal Surveillance and Radar System will further contribute to securing the island nation's maritime territory.
Speaking at the banquet hosted in honour of the President of Seychelles, James Alix Michel, Mukherjee said both countries have joined hands to face common challenges, addressed regional and global issues, overcome adversities and celebrated our successes. "Our protocol on co-operation in the field of Blue Economy is a major step in the conservation and sustainable use of Indian Ocean resources. We are glad that our maritime security co-operation has been fruitful. The operationalisation of the Coastal Surveillance and Radar System will further contribute to securing your maritime territory," he said.
The President said India lauds the visiting Head of State's vision for Seychelles and efforts to revitalise its growth and development. "The economic reforms undertaken by you, the expansion and diversification of your economy and your simultaneous focus on social welfare have shown splendid results. Seychelles now stands among the countries recognised by the World Bank as High Income Group Countries.
"We welcome your accession to the World Trade Organisation and congratulate you on your being ranked by the UNDP as the country with the 3rd highest Human Development Index in Africa in 2014," he said. He said Michel's commitment to the issues of the Small Island Developing States find resonance and support in India. "With our long coastline, numerous small islands and significant reliance on the oceanic climate system, we, in India, face similar challenges.
"I am confident that the agreements that our governments have signed and new areas of co-operation that we have identified during your visit will further strengthen our partnership - which already is an example of mutually beneficial South-South Cooperation," he said.
Thanking Seychelles for support for India's candidature for permanent seat in United Nations Security Council, Mukherjee said,"70th year of the United Nations, UNSC reform and expansion will be discussed at the UNGA – for which an intergovernmental negotiating text has been introduced. We look forward to working with you for a constructive outcome."
"The increased air connectivity between Mahe and Mumbai will promote tourist flows in both directions and help to intensify business contacts and enhance bilateral trade and investment. India is committed to extending our support and assistance to Seychelles in areas prioritised by your government," he said.