India hails Seychelles anti-piracy efforts-. Pledges continued military support


General AK Singh having talks with President Michel

In a statement he made to the media after meeting President James Michel at State House, he said he “greatly appreciates the efforts put in by Seychelles in the fight against piracy and that he told Mr Michel that India is committed to help Seychelles as per the country’s requirements”.

He also recalled the many joint training programmes soldiers from India and Seychelles take part in, and asked the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) personnel to make the best use of these opportunities through the experts his country sends here.

General Singh was accompanied to State House by a delegation which included Indian High Commissioner Thanglura Darlong, Brigadier M S Kohli and Colonel SA Usman.

The Indian High Commission said General AK Singh is responsible for an area “that encompasses nine states and four Union Territories, covering nearly 41% of India”.

He is on a visit to Seychelles to review the activities of the Indian Defence Forces personnel posted here and also to further Indo-Seychelles defence ties.

Yesterday he launched the 5th Indo-Seychelles Joint Army Training/Exercise  code named “Lamitye” at the Seychelles Defence Academy.

He also met Home Affairs, Environment, Natural Resources, Transport and Energy Minister Joel Morgan and the chief of defence forces of the SPDF Brigadier Leopold Payet.

General AK Singh visited Praslin and La Digue for a firsthand view of the inner islands and also to get a clear picture of the location of the exercise.

The High Commission said the Indian Army has been carrying out close cooperation with the SPDF since 1989, when a military advisor with a team of military experts from the Indian Army helped the SPDF establish the Seychelles Defence Academy.

“From there on, cooperation between the two countries has grown strongly over the years with regular deputation of Indian Army personnel to assist the SPDF in various military fields. A number of SPDF personnel get training every year at various defence-training establishments in India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme,” said the high commission.

“Presently the Indian Army has deputed two personnel to assist the SPDF – a military adviser to the SPDF and a Very Very Important Person Security (VVIP)/Commando instructor. Personnel from the Indian Army are deputed as per the requirements of the SPDF for assistance in various fields like logistics, weapon maintenance and VVIP security. In addition, the Indian Navy has also deputed a number of personnel and equipment, to include a Dornier aircraft, which is presently located on Mahe.”

It said the aim of regular joint exercises between the Indian Army and the SPDF is to build a good working relationship between the two defence forces and also to expose SPDF personnel to modern warfare techniques including fighting terrorism.

“The Indian army has considerable ground experience in this,” it said, noting the first exercise of this kind between the two defence forces was held in 2001.

It said visits like the one made by the Indian Army delegation are an important part of confidence building measures in the region, and help the militaries understand each others’ concern.

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