India, Mauritius agree to step up security cooperation

PORT LOUIS: India and Mauritius today agreed that bilateral line of credit must be used as a vehicle to realise the untapped potential in trade and economic ties and vowed to step up security cooperation, including anti-piracy operations. 

In a statement issued after meeting Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, President Pranab Mukherjee expressed satisfaction over the current state of relations between India and Mauritius.

“Prime Minister¬†Navinchandra Ramgoolam¬†and I agreed that there was untapped potential particularly in the areas of trade and economic cooperation. The bilateral Line of Credit between the two sides must be used as a vehicle to upgrade our economic and commercial exchanges, including the possible financing of projects that will improve the quality of life of Mauritian citizens,” he said.

The two leaders discussed potential areas for cooperation such as exploration of marine resources, renewable energy and environment friendly technologies.

Mukherjee is in Mauritius on a three-day visit during which he is attending the Mauritius national day as chief guest.

The President said piracy in the Indian Ocean region adversely impacts all nations and India is committed to the safety and security of Mauritius and will continue to work towards enhancing its cooperation in the security arena.

“Indian Naval ships will continue to undertake joint anti-piracy and Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance exercises with their Mauritian counterparts to ensure maritime security in these waters. We are ready to assist the government and the people of Mauritius, on security-related issues, in accordance with the requirements and priorities of the government of Mauritius,” he said.

Mukherjee said he and the Prime Minister have agreed to further enhance exchanges in the fields of health,higher education, information technology, science and technology, tourism, textiles, agro-processing, culture and legal cooperation.

“I am very happy to note that MoUs in health and medicine, tourism and cooperation as well as in the field of senior citizens and persons with disabilities have been signed today. I am positive that these agreements will further enhance the quality of our partnership and be of benefit to the people of India and Mauritius,” Mukherjee said.

The President said India will continue to extend assistance to Mauritius in the field of human resource development and capacity building and has already increased the training slots for Mauritius under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme to 170 for civilian programmes and 100 for defence-related programmes.

These slots can be increased to meet further demands. “It is heartening to note the rise in the number of Mauritian students availing of the 100 educational scholarships offered by the Government of India annually,” he said.

Mukherjee also thanked the Mauritius Government for its valuable support on global issues of vital importance to India.

Mauritius has been steadfast in its condemnation of international terrorism.

“India is also grateful to Mauritius for consistently supporting our rightful claim for permanent membership in an expanded¬†United Nations¬†Security Council. I am also grateful to Mauritius for extending whole-hearted support to the process of revitalising the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC),” he said.

Mukherjee said his discussions today with Prime Minister Ramgoolam, have established a firm road map for the consolidation and enhancement of mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

“Ours is a strategic partnership which has the well-being of our peoples at its core,” he said.

Later, visiting the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Memorial Botanical Garden at Pamplemousses, Mukherjee wrote in the visitors’ book that Sir Ramgoolam (Father of the Mauritian nation) led the political struggle for independence of Mauritius with wholehearted commitment and devotion to his people.

“As a statesman, he pioneered the socio-economic transformation of independent Mauritius through bold and far-sighted policies in the areas of education and health. A leading light of the twentieth century, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was respected and revered in India as well. He was a great friend of India.

“His vision will continue to guide us in taking forward the friendship between India-Mauritius to a new level. It is my privilege to pay homage to this glorious son of Mauritians,” he said.


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