Stronger ties on mind, as PM leaves on 3-nation tour
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Seychelles today on the first leg of his five-day visit to three key Indian Ocean countries that also includes Mauritius and Sri Lanka, asserting that strong relations with them was "vital" for India's security and progress.india Updated: Mar 11, 2015 00:01 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India attached “paramount importance” to strengthening relations with countries in the Indian Ocean region, which was vital for its security and progress.
Before leaving for Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka on a five-day three-nation foreign tour, Modi expressed confidence that his visit would reinvigorate India’s relations in the all-important region “we call home — the Indian Ocean.”
During his pre-departure statement, Modi said he was looking forward to the visit, observing that India had a strong and important relationship with each of the countries that occupied an important place in its foreign policy.
The visit to Seychelles will be the first Prime Ministerial visit since 1981. “India’s relationship with Seychelles has been built on the foundation of mutual trust and shared values... I am looking forward to meeting President James Michel, a great friend of India,” he said. After Seychelles, Modi will visit Mauritius on March 11-12.
Modi said he was honoured to have been invited as the chief guest at the Independence Day celebrations in Mauritius on March 12, a special date for Indians as Mahatma Gandhi began his Dandi March on the same date in 1930.
“My visit to Mauritius will aim to strengthen our age-old civilizational ties with ‘Chhota Bharat’. I am honoured to be invited to address the National Assembly of Mauritius,” he said.
Calling his visit to Sri Lanka an opportunity to further strengthen ties, Modi said, “This will be our second summit since the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to India last month.”