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Opposition in Seychelles to block India’s military deal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Danny Faure, President of Seychelles. Photo: PTI

Victoria (Seychelles): Seychelles’s opposition coalition, which holds a majority in Parliament, said on Tuesday that it would not ratify a deal signed with India to build a military base on one of the archipelago’s outlying islands.

The deal will see India invest $550 million in building the base on Assumption island to help it ensure the safety of its vessels in the southern Indian Ocean.

Indian soldiers will be deployed on the island that lies 1,135km south-west from the capital Victoria, and help train Seychelles’s troops.

However, the deal has faced resistance from locals and Wavel Ramkalawan, head of the opposition Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (Seychelles Democratic Union in Creole), said the coalition “will not ratify the Assumption deal. This deal is dead”.

The LDS had held a majority in Parliament since its victory in 2016 legislative elections.

On Monday, President Danny Faure said he would meet with Ramkalawan on 26 March to discuss the deal.

The government says the base will help coastguards patrol exclusive economic zone to check for illegal fishing, drug trafficking and piracy.

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