Seychelles Blocks Planned Indian Naval Base On Remote Island

On Friday a top foreign affairs ministry official said that Seychelles parliament will not ratify a pact allowing India to build naval facilities on one of the archipelago’s islands.

In January the two countries signed an agreement to build military facilities on the remote island of Assumption, but the project quickly attracted criticism from opposition members of the tiny Indian Ocean nation’s parliament and lead to public protests.

Opposition lawmakers had argued that allowing India access to Assumption, which is near a busy shipping route, would be surrendering territory to another country & joint management of the facility with India undermined the 115-island nation’s sovereignty.

Seychelles Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Barry Faure told Reuters by phone,”The government will not present the agreement to the National Assembly (parliament) for approval because opposition members(who are the majority) have already said they will not ratify it. Hence the  question of whether the  agreement has been cancelled or not does arise — we will simply not take it to the assembly.”

President Faure said,”In next year’s budget, we will put funds for us to build a coastguard facility on Assumption ourselves. It is important for us to ensure that we have a military post in this area.”

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