New Delhi, March 10:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he looked forward to his tour of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka beginning on Tuesday and that the tour reflected India’s foreign policy priorities.
“I am keenly looking forward to my three-nation tour … March 10-14. We have a strong, multifaceted and important relationship with each (country) and they all occupy a very important place in our foreign policy,” Modi said in his departure statement.
“My visit to the three Indian Ocean Island countries reflects our foreign policy priorities in India’s immediate and extended neighbourhood.
“India attaches paramount importance to strengthening relations with this region, which is vital for India’s security and progress,” he said.
In the Seychelles, his first stop, Modi is set to get a unique Gujarati-style welcome from the Gujarati NRIs living in that country.
Modi said: “India’s relationship with Seychelles has been built on the foundation of mutual trust and shared values.
“My visit to Seychelles will be the first prime ministerial visit to Seychelles since 1981. I am keenly looking forward to my meeting with President James Michel, a great friend of India.”
He said he would in Mauritius on March 11-12. “I am honoured to have been invited to be the chief guest at the Independence Day celebrations in Mauritius on March 12.
“I am honoured to be invited to address the national assembly of Mauritius. I will be participating in the joint commissioning of Indian-built Offshore Patrol Vessel Barracuda, and in the beginning of construction work for the building of World Hindi Secretariat.”
On the last leg, Modi will be in Sri Lanka on March 13 and 14 when he will hold talks with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“My visit to Sri Lanka will be the first standalone prime ministerial visit to Sri Lanka since 1987.
“This will be our second summit in a month’s time since the visit of President Sirisena to India last month,” he said. IANS