Embarking on his first tour abroad this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will conduct a three-nation trip across the Indian Ocean from Tuesday. During the five-day trip he will stop over in Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
The major focus of the trip is on increasing India’s economic and strategic ties with the Indian Ocean states.
Modi will be in Seychelles on March 11 before heading to Mauritius, where he will be the Guest of Honour at the Mauritius National Day celebrations on March 12.
In Seychelles, Modi will hold bilateral talks with President James Alexis Michel on Wednesday in a bid to strengthen maritime security and bilateral cooperation. He is due to reach Seychelles on Tuesday’s night.
On Wednesday afternoon, on the second leg of his trip to Mauritius, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth and address the Mauritian Parliament. He will be the Chief Guest at Mauritius’s 42nd National Day celebrations.
Briefing the media ahead of the visit, foreign secretary S Jaishanker said, India’s commercial ties have grown significantly with the three Indian Ocean economies and that they offered new possibilities of cooperation. “We are very bullish about the relationships,” he added.
In the last leg of his tour, Modi will be in Sri Lanka from March 13 to 14. His itinerary includes a visit to the former war zone and the Tamil heartland of Jaffna. India will try to find a solution to the “humanitarian” issue involving its fishermen.
In Jaffna, Modi will hand over homes built with Indian aid under “a flagship cooperation project” with the island country.