www.iasinsights.in ; www.iasgyaan.com posts Hindu summary about Setbacks in India-Seychelles relations
Setbacks in the bilateral relationship owing to the Assumption Island agreement being put on hold.
What is Assumption Island agreement?
- Assumption Island is a small island in the Outer Islands of Seychelles north of Madagascar, with a distance of 1,135 km (705 mi) southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island.
- In 2018, Seychelles and India signed an agreement to build and operate a joint military facility on a portion of the island.
- The deal for an Indian military base in Seychelles was declared ‘dead’ by the Island’s opposition party.
What was offered by GoI as part of the deal?
The deal was to include 30-year access to the base as well as permission to station Indian military personnel on the ground, with facilities on the island funded by India, owned by Seychelles and jointly managed.
Why is the deal important to India?
- India plans for supremacy Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- China already dominating by its improved relations with Maldives and Seychelles.
Why the agreement is dead?
- Public protests by activists who believe that the islands must stay away from the brewing India-China regional conflict.
- Also about loss of Island sovereignty and legislature members couldn’t ratify.
What is the way forward?
- Seychelles taken a U turn that it would built the naval base by itself
- India since couldn’t push the deal opted soft diplomacy approach by announcing a credit line of $100 million for Seychelles to purchase defense equipment from India to build its maritime capacity, offered to finance civilian infrastructure including the official buildings, and handed over a Dornier aircraft for maritime surveillance purposes.
- India need to wait until 2020-21, when Seychelles is due for presidential and parliamentary elections, it may not be possible to move the agreement further for ratification;
- Instead of renegotiating or cancelling it entirely, it is best to keep it in abeyance.
- Also its advisable for India to apt for same kind of approach with other Island nations instead of completely breaking up the deal.