New Delhi [India], November 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Seychelles on November 27 and 28 in the last leg of his three-nation tour to present greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to newly-elected President Wavel Ramkalawan. He will also seek to understand development priorities of the new government to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
Sources said the visit is the first in-person visit to Seychelles since the COVID-19 pandemic and the first high-level interaction after the national elections in the country.
They said Seychelles side has made an exemption allowing the visit to take place and the country is otherwise under strict quarantine norms.
"To the best of our knowledge, no other high-level visit has taken place since the new President took over. Hence, EAM will be the first high-level visitor he will be receiving," a source said.
The sources said main objective of Jaishankar's visit is to meet the newly elected President and present greetings of Prime Minister Modi.
The External Affairs Minister is carrying a letter from PM to the President and will seek to understand his development priorities to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
The EAM will also meet with his counterpart the Foreign Minister of Seychelles Sylvestre Radegonde.
Since the introduction of the multiparty democracy in 1993, all previous governments in Seychelles have followed an 'India First' policy, sources said.
They said Seychelles was the first destination of Prime Minister Modi during the Indian Ocean tour in 2015 after which he also visited Sri Lanka and Mauritius. This was the first Prime Ministerial level visit to Seychelles after a gap of 33 years.
India has tried to broad base its relationship through development cooperation and assistance in the form of grants and concessional loans.
"Out of five National Priority projects, support for three projects has been publicly announced during the visit of President of Seychelles to India in June 2018. The three National Priority Projects (NPPs) - construction of a new Government House (USD 63.66 Million), Police Headquarters (USD 13.92 million) and Attorney General's office (USD 13.38 million) are being implemented," a source said.
The sources said Phase 1 of the High Impact Community Development (HICDP) is currently under implementation in Seychelles with Indian government's grant assistance.
Nineteen projects out of the 33 projects have been completed and have been widely welcomed.
A project for installation of 1 MW ground mounted Solar PV system at Romainville Island is nearly complete.
Seychelles was among the first few countries to receive support from India in the fight against COVID-19 which included over 4 tonnes of life saving medicines including 50,000 tablets of HCQ.
During his visit to UAE, Jaishankar met Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed advancement of cooperation between the two countries.
Jaishankar had visited Bahrain in the first leg of his three-nation visit. (ANI)