Indian President wants to see stronger Indo-Seychelles parliamentary ties


Mrs Patil said this while addressing a special session of the National Assembly on Monday morning.

In her address, Mrs Patil also talked about the close historic links between Seychelles and India, increased cooperation such as in the fight against piracy, support the two countries give each other in international forums and strengthened relations in various other fields such as economy, trade and culture.

With regard to cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments Mrs Patil expressed her appreciation that a young lady MNA from Seychelles recently took part in a forum for young African MPs with their Indian counterparts “for mutually beneficial interactions”.

“I am happy that MPs from India are with me during this visit. We would like to continue such interactions,” Mrs Patil said.

 “In a democracy, parliaments are the forums to understand and address people’s aspirations and their developmental needs, and to focus on various aspects of governance, which impact on the well-being of the people. We also believe that parliaments can play a role in building greater understanding between the peoples of different countries,” said the Indian President.

“We, in India, have great admiration for Seychelles’s strong democratic traditions, for its economic reforms, for the impressive human and social development indicators it has attained,” added Mrs Patil. 

Mrs Patil further stressed that India and Seychelles are two vibrant democracies that share common values like expression of popular will, respect for liberty and human rights, adult suffrage, rule of law and equality. 

“Democracy in India has remained strong and peoples’ faith in the system has remained alive and vibrant, as reflected in huge turnouts in all stages of elections to our Parliament and state assemblies,” Mrs Patil told local MPs.

Mrs Patil said relations between India and Seychelles are characterised by regular high level visits and political consultation, both at the highest and official levels, highlighting the various visits President James Michel has made to India in recent years.

“These visits has strengthened co-operation in all fields. India would like to continue as an important partner of Seychelles in its development process. We are now entering a new phase of increased bilateral relationship.  There is so much to gain and benefit through mutual help and understanding. Let us expand cooperation,” said Mrs Patil.

In relation to peace and security, Mrs Patil said “peace and security has always remained the primary pre-condition for development. Attainable and sustainable peace can only be achieved by curbing the acts of violence, conflicts and terrorism”.

“There is a common need to be vigilant against this common threat”, she added.

Mrs Patil expressed her thanks to the people of Seychelles for their principled and consistent support to India on the issue of terrorism. 

On bilateral ties she said shared values have enabled our two countries to have a common vision and common goals. As members of the NAM (non-aligned movement), United Nations, Commonwealth and IOR-ARC, both countries have played an important and cooperative role on these multilateral bodies. We have maintained close cooperation in multilateral forums, mindful of each other’s vital interests and considering them as our own.

Expressing the need to see an expanded UN Security Council to make it more representative and effective to address challenges of the 21st Century, Mrs Patil conveyed her sincere appreciation for Seychelles support to India’s candidature for the permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.

With regard to the threat of piracy, Mrs Patil has reassured Seychelles of India’s continued support.

“India will continue to extend cooperation to Seychelles in the fight against piracy as has been the case during the last few years. Indian naval ships make regular visits to Seychelles to safeguard the Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles,” she said.

Mrs Patil expressed her gratitude to the Assembly speaker, Dr Patrick Herminie, for what she described as “a great privilege and rare honour” to share her thoughts with the members of the Assembly of Seychelles.

Welcoming Mrs Patil to the Assembly earlier, Dr Herminie had said the “august presence of Her Excellency is further testimony of the strong and invincible relationship that exists between India and Seychelles, between our two parliaments and between our two peoples; two nations inextricably intertwined by history”.

Both the leader of the opposition and the leader of government business respectively also welcomed Mrs Patil and her delegation in the Assembly.

David Pierre said “now that Seychelles is fully engaged in amending our electoral laws, it should be able to look to India and be inspired by its success in relation to the very many successful elections it has organised over the more than sixty years of independence. Needless to say, such an important process in a democracy is vital for the continued well-being of our nation and surely, as a diverse, pluralistic society, Seychelles should be able to count on India to help show us the way to building an inclusive, tolerant society where our people understand that change can only come about through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means”.

For her part Marie-Antoinnette Rose noted that “your presence, from one of the world’s largest democracies to one of the world’s smallest parliaments, is testimony to the fact that in spite of challenging times, countries irrespective of their sizes can effectively work towards greatness.
“Your presence as a woman and your extraordinary legacy in India’s governance, reaffirms the two country’s commitment for greater participation of women in the affairs of the state,” said Ms Rose.

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