Victoria (Seychelles): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left the Seychelles capital for Mauritius on the second leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to Sri Lanka.
The prime minister will meet Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag and Premier Anerood Jugnauth after arriving in the Mauritian capital Port Louis later today.
Jugnauth will host a state banquet for Modi this evening.
Modi will be the Chief Guest at the Independence Day celebrations in Mauritius tomorrow - March 12 - a date which is special to all Indians because Mahatma Gandhi began his Dandi March on this day in 1930.
“My visit to Mauritius will aim to strengthen our age-old civilisational ties with ‘Chhota Bharat'. I am honoured to be invited to address the National Assembly of Mauritius,” Modi had said in a pre-departure statement in New Delhi yesterday.
Modi will participate in the joint commissioning of India-built Offshore Patrol Vessel Barracuda, and in the launch of construction works for the building of World Hindi Secretariat.
Earlier today, seeking to expand its footprint in the strategic Indian Ocean, India agreed to help Seychelles in mapping its hydrology reserves under four agreements signed during the visit of Modi who launched a coastal surveillance radar project to boost security cooperation with the island nation.
The prime minister also announced that India will give a second Dronier aircraft to Seychelles and provide free of cost visas on arrival for three months for its citizens following one-to-one and delegation-level talks with Seychelles President James Alix Michel.
The prime minister's visit to Sri Lanka from March 13 will be an opportunity to further strengthen all aspects of the bilateral relationship.
Modi will attend a second summit in a month's time with President Maithripala Sirisena since the Sri Lankan leader's visit to India last month.
His trip to Sri Lanka will be the first standalone prime ministerial visit to the island nation since 1987.
“I see this visit as an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship in all its dimensions - political, strategic, economic, cultural, and above all, people to people contacts,” Modi had said.