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SOURCE: IANS

Indian Navy’s indigenously-built Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) grabbed the spotlight as Seychelles celebrated its 48th National Day on Saturday. The ALH, which arrived at Port Victoria onboard Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sunayna on June 26, participated in the flypast organised as part of the Seychelles National Day celebrations.

An Indian Navy marching contingent and the Naval band also participated in the military parade organised on the occasion. According to the Indian Navy, the ALH is also scheduled to undertake joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance with INS Sunayna and Seychelles Defence Forces towards fostering closer interoperability and seamless conduct of coordinated maritime operations.

On Friday, Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan and Vice President Ahmed Afif attended a demonstration of the Advance Light Helicopter at the Seychelles Air Force Handguard.

“An air experience sortie and SAR demonstration showcasing the versatility and capability of the indigenous aircraft, was undertaken for President Wavel Ramkalawan, Vice President Ahmed Afif and Chief of Defence Forces, Seychelles,” stated the Indian Navy.

Following the ALH live demonstration, the Indian High Commissioner presented a token of gratitude to Ramkalawan. The CO of INS Sunayna and a delegation from HAL also presented their crests to the country’s President.

On Saturday, INS Sunayna organised a special Yoga session onboard with locals, diaspora members and Seychelles Defence Forces personnel.

The Indian Defence Ministry has asserted that the deployment of INS Sunayna, currently on a long range deployment in the South West Indian Ocean Region, marks sustained participation of an Indian military contingent in a parade organised as part of Seychelles National Day since 1976.

Earlier this month, Seychelles Vice-President Ahmed Afif travelled to Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the council of ministers.

Facing common security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India and Seychelles have enhanced cooperation in several fields over the last few years.

The partnership is founded on the principles of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and the ‘Five S’ vision of Sammaan (Respect) — Samvaad (Dialogue) – Sahyog (Cooperation) — Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity) articulated by PM Modi.

As reported by IANS, Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan hoped that PM Modi’s third term will not only strengthen bilateral relations but also help in strongly addressing the “multiple global and regional challenges” that confront both nations in the IOR.

“On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Seychelles, as well as on my own behalf, I extend our warmest congratulations on your re-election as the Prime Minister of the Republic of India,” Ramkalawan said in his congratulatory message to PM Modi on June 5.

“This outcome is a testament to the confidence that the Indian people place in your visionary leadership and the remarkable progress that India has made under your stewardship, as well as the high regard in which you are held,” he added.