India's navy chief seeks closer cooperation with Seychelles Coast GuardGeneral |Author: Sedrick Nicette Edited By: Betymie Bonnelame | April 22, 2022, Friday @ 17:38| 2760 views
Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Hari Kumar, met with President Wavel Ramkalawan, who also holds the portfolio of the Minister of Defence, at State House on Friday. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Indian navy is seeking more areas of cooperation with the Seychelles Coast Guard during its working visit to the island nation.
The Indian navy delegation led by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Hari Kumar, met with President Wavel Ramkalawan, who also holds the portfolio of the Minister of Defence, at State House on Friday.
Kumar told reporters that further cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Seychelles Coast Guard has been discussed "as we continue to work hard at protecting our oceans. It is important for all countries to work together to protect the seas from criminal activities."
"We believe that the rising tide lifts all the boats, which means that all countries benefit from maritime security," added Kumar.
The Indian Navy recently came to the aid of a crew member of the Seychelles Coast Guard ship Zoroaster, Allison Labiche, who was suffering from severe abdominal pain. Labiche was on board the Zoroaster returning to Seychelles from Kochi in India.
The patient had to get further medical attention on board and was shifted to INHS Sanjivan. She is now in stable condition.
The vessel, PS Zoroaster, was gifted to Seychelles by the Indian government. It is powerful and has a fuel-efficient platform designed to perform multi-purpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, and search and rescue.
"The most important for us is to develop trust between our two forces, which is why we continue to have such visits and discussions, to ensure both nations can help each other and share resources and ideas," Kumar added.
The admiral has previously worked in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and in 2001, was an advisor to the Seychelles Coast Guard.
The relationship between the two naval forces is a long standing one. PS Topaz was the first maritime patrol vessel gifted to Seychelles by the Indian government in 2005. This was to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations and work together to ensure the safety of the region.
During its stay in Seychelles, the delegation from India will also be meeting with Seychelles oast Guard officers as well as visiting the facilities and vessels in the country.