Visiting Indian naval ships host reception |22 March 2017
Guests interacting during the reception
A reception was hosted on Monday night to mark the arrival in Port Victoria of four ships belonging to the First Training Squadron of the Indian Navy.
The gathering took place on board the INS TIR and INS Sujata, two among the four ships. The other two vessels are INS Sudarshini and Indian Coast Guard Ship Sarathi.
The ships’ visit to Port Victoria is aimed at providing exposure to the officer trainees onboard in the conduct of warships in foreign waters and port familiarisation.
Guests at the reception were welcomed onboard by the Indian high commissioner to Seychelles Dr Ausaf Sayeed and the commanding officers of the four ships.
Apart from tasting the delightful Indian cuisine and enjoying Indian songs from the ships’ musical band, guests were also regaled with a cultural performance held on the quay by officers and sailors of the First Training Squadron.
Among the guests were Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mathilda Twomey, Minister for Home Affairs Mitcy Larue, deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Nicolas Prea, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces and other guests from the Indian and local communities.
In his welcoming speech on board INS TIR, Dr Sayeed said that India has a very special relationship with Seychelles which dates back to nearly four decades.
“India considers Seychelles not only as a maritime neighbour but as a trusted friend and a strong strategic partner. Our bilateral cooperation now encompasses a wide spectrum of areas such as the Blue Economy, health services, educational and cultural collaboration, tourism, training and capacity building, besides hydrography, maritime security and defence,” he noted.
Dr Sayeed also emphasized on India’s belief in undertaking cooperation and coordination between various navies, especially those belonging to countries in the Indian Ocean, to counter common threats at sea.
“It is extremely important to maintain peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean,” he noted.
He said he was sure that the Indian officers and sailors have got a glimpse of the beauty of Seychelles and have experienced the warmth of the Seychellois people and rich Creole culture.
Since the arrival of the four Indian ships to Seychelles last Saturday, the officers and sailors of the First Training Squadron hosted visitors onboard on Sunday and conducted joint training exercises with the Seychelles Coast Guard.
The commanding officers also called on Ambassador Barry Faure, secretary of state in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Brigadier Leopold Payet, Chief of Defence Forces.
The ships leaves Port Victoria today.