Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he was looking forward to enhancing India’s ties with the friendly Indian Ocean countries of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka during his five-day visit beginning March 10.
In a series of tweets from his Twitter handle @narendramodi, linked to the Facebook account, Modi said the Indian Ocean region “is a region of great inspiration for us and India attaches paramount importance to strengthening relations with this region”.
On his first destination, Seychelles, Modi said he was “eagerly awaiting” his visit on March 11.
“I am very glad that I am able to visit Seychelles early on during my tenure and I look forward to working with President (James Alexis) Michel to strengthen co-operation between India and Seychelles,” he wrote.
He said India’s relationship with Seychelles was “a very special one, built on the foundation of mutual trust and shared values”.
“During my visit I hope to achieve substantial progress in areas ranging from the economy to infrastructure and culture. Am certain that my visit to Seychelles, a land known for its natural beauty and warm-hearted people, will be a historic and productive one.”
On the second destination of Mauritius, where he will be visiting on March 11 and 12, the prime minister said it would be “very special” visit.
“I am very happy to be there with my sisters and brothers of Mauritius as they celebrate their National Day. Our relationship with Mauritius has been strong and I am committed to working with Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth to strengthening our ties further in a wide range of issues.”
He said he will be addressing the National Assembly of Mauritius.
“I would be attending the programme to mark the Commissioning of Coast Ship Barracuda, which signifies the deep level of friendship between India and Mauritius.”
Modi will also attend a civic reception and join the programme for a new building at the World Hindi Secretariat.
“As you can see, I would be attending a diverse range of programmes and working closely with PM Jugnauth to realize the full potential of India-Mauritius ties,” he wrote.
On the final leg of his visit to Sri Lanka on March 13-14, the prime minister said: “I embark on my first visit to Sri Lanka with great joy and confidence that this visit will make India’s relations with Sri Lanka even stronger, in the larger interest of our people. Robust ties with Sri Lanka signifies the importance India attaches to the South Asian neighbourhood.”
He said his visit comes after President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to India “during which substantial ground was covered on taking our ties forward. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting President Sirisena once again”.
“Our ties with Sri Lanka have stood the test of time. We have a shared history, heritage and values. And yes, both our Nations share a love for cricket! “
Modi said he will be addressing the Sri Lankan parliament and visiting the Mahabodhi Society.
“I consider it my good fortune that I would be the first Indian prime minister to visit Jaffna, where I would be laying the foundation stone for the iconic Jaffna Cultural Centre that will come up adjacent to the historic Jaffna Public Library.
“I will visit the site of a Housing Project that is one among the many projects being taken up by the Indian Government for the benefit of the local people.”
“India is committed in its support for Sri Lanka’s development and am sure together we are going to script a golden chapter in the history of India-Sri Lanka relations,” he wrote. (Business Standard)