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Victoria/New Delhi: India and Seychelles on Saturday signed a revised agreement for the development of facilities on Assomption and held productive bilateral cooperation meetings. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Seychelles in 2015, both countries had inked an agreement to develop infrastructure on Assomption Island, which lies southwest of the mainland of Mahe.

Foreign secretary of India S. Jaishankar and secretary of state of Seychelles Barry Faure signed the agreement for the island’s development of facilities on the island. “Foreign Secretary of India Jaishankar and Secretary of State of Seychelles Faure signed the Agreement between India and Seychelles for the Development, Management, Operation and Maintenance of Facilities on Assomption Island today at the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Victoria, India in Seychelles," the official twitter account of the High Commission of India in Seychelles, said.

“The process of ratification will ensue. 2018 will see a real acceleration in our cooperation programme," it said in another tweet. Jaishankar also called on Seychelles President Danny Faure. “The Foreign Secretary of India, Jaishankar called on the Danny Faure at the office of the President in Victoria, Seychelles and discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation between India and Seychelles today," the High Commission said in a tweet.

“Seychelles with its Exclusive Economic Zone spread over 1.3 million square kilometers is particularly vulnerable. Recognising this, India and Seychelles have drawn up a cooperation agenda that covers within its purview joint efforts in anti-piracy operations, and enhanced exclusive economic zone surveillance and monitoring to prevent intrusions by potential economic offenders indulging in illegal fishing, poaching, drug and human trafficking," the foreign secretary said in a statement.

“The cooperation is further exemplified by the operationalisation of the Coastal Surveillance Radar System in March 2016, and our commitment to augment Seychelles’ defence assets and capability," it said. “This reinforces our commitment to not only further deepen India-Seychelles relations but also take our partnership to the next level," it added.

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