India, Mauritius for greater collaboration in defence, security

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) In the context of the Indian Ocean region, India and Mauritius on Tuesday called for greater collaboration in the area of defence and security.

In a meeting with visiting Mauritian Finance Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the long-standing partnership between India and Mauritius had played a critical role in ensuring peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region, according to sources here.

“In this context, both leaders called for greater collaboration in the area of defence and security,” a source said.

“India offered to provide assistance in terms of hydrographic surveys.”

Sushma Swaraj also appreciated Jugnauth’s giving priority to visiting India on his first tour abroad, “which was in keeping with the very special ‘blood relationship’ between India and Mauritius”.

Stating that India has always given full support to the development priorities of Mauritius, she said that both sides were finalising a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the Metro Express project and other projects announced by Jugnauth in his budget could begin to be implemented.

“The long-standing request from Mauritius for restarting negotiations of CECPA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement) and PTA (Preferential Trade Agreement) had also been met, with discussions yesterday (Monday) in Port Louis,” the source said.

Sushma Swaraj thanked Jugnauth for the “forward looking decision” which had allowed the protocol on the amendment of the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) and said this has added to Mauritius’s financial credentials.

On his part, Jugnauth reiterated Mauritius’s consistent support for India’s candidature as a member in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council (UNSC).

“In terms of people-to-people contacts, the two leaders discussed the construction of the World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius,” a source said.

“The External Affairs Minister invited significant participation from Mauritius in the forthcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2017 to be held in Bengaluru.”

Sushma Swaraj said that India would be sending a delegation to Mauritius this month to examine the Girmitya records for giving them Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.

Girmityas are descendants of indentured Indian labourers who were taken to Mauritius during the British rule.

–IANS

ab/vt

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