PIRACY | India and Seychelles increase co-operation

INDIA and Seychelles reportedly agreed today to increase co-operation to address Indian Ocean piracy.

India agreed to increase military for maritime and Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance, the website New Kerala reported.

The pledge was issued after Indian defence minister AK Antony, defence secretary Pradeep Kumar and other Delhi leaders met in Mahe last week with President James Alix Michel, Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam and other Seychelles figures.

“The Indian Ocean links us all and is critical for our economic interests,” Antony said. “We must co-operate to ensure peace and stability in this region.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier pledged $5M in defence aid for Seychelles during President Michel’s visit to Delhi. In addition, Antony has now pledged one new Dornier and two Chetak helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics for maritime surveillance within 15 months.

Seychelles sailors will also undergo maintenance training and conduct drills and exercises on Indian navy ships.



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