It had been drummed up yet another success in India’s bid to counter China’s string of pearls strategy but the Seychelles as of now is not in a position to commit to India’s plans to build military base in one of its islands.
This after the country’s opposition coalition, which holds a majority in parliament, spoke of not ratifying a deal signed with India in this regard.
Under the deal, India would have invested $550 million dollars in building the base on Assumption island to help it ensure the safety of its vessels in the southern Indian Ocean.
The deal also mandated that Indian soldiers would be deployed on the island and help train Seychelles’ troops.
But its location lends it strategic importance for monitoring shipping in the Mozambique Channel.
However, Indian presence in the Seychelles is a sensitive matter.
Opponents of the plan also cite Assumption’s relative proximity to Aldabra atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises.>