Your Excellency Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and his delegation to India. We are truly honoured, Excellency, that you have chosen India for your first overseas visit after taking on the new responsibility as Prime Minister of Mauritius earlier this year. Your visit reflects the depth of our ties that have endured and enhanced over two centuries. And, our bonds are not limited to Governments. They extend to our people and societies who take pride in our shared roots. Our bonds have flourished despite time and distance. Today, they weave a rich tapestry of friendship in diverse areas.
My discussions with Prime Minister Jugnauth have been warm and productive. Our conversation reminded me of my own memorable visit to Mauritius in March 2015. That visit, which was my first to the Indian Ocean region, gave us a robust agenda for cooperation. It also underscored the commonality of our values, interests and efforts.
Today, we have taken another leap in our bilateral agenda. As frontline states of the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Jugnauth and I agree that it is our responsibility to ensure collective maritime security around our coasts and in our EEZs. We agree that effective management of conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean is essential to pursue economic opportunities; protect the livelihood of our communities, and provide security to our people. And, for this India-Mauritius cooperation is very very important.
We have to keep up our vigil against :
• Piracy that impacts trade and tourism;
• Trafficking of drugs and humans;
• Illegal fishing, and
• Other forms of illegal exploitation of marine resources
The conclusion of the bilateral Maritime Security Agreement today, will strengthen our mutual cooperation and capacities. We have also agreed to further strengthen our wide-ranging cooperation in hydrography for a secure and peaceful maritime domain. India is supporting the National Coast Guard of Mauritius in augmenting its capacity through Project Trident. We have also taken a decision to renew the life of the Coast Guard Ship Guardian, that was provided to Mauritius, under a grant assistance programme.
A strong developmental partnership with Mauritius is a hallmark of our engagement. India is proud to participate actively in the ongoing development activities in Mauritius. The agreement today on a 500 million US dollars Line of Credit from India to Mauritius is a good example of our strong and continuing commitment towards the development of Mauritius. It will also help in the implementation of priority projects. Prime Minister Jugnauth and I welcome the progress in ongoing projects. India will extend full support for the timely execution of projects identified between our countries. Projects that will vitalize the economy of Mauritius and mark a qualitative transformation in our relations. In our discussions, we also focused on increasing skill development cooperation with Mauritius. It is an active part of our present interaction under India’s multiple capacity building programme with Mauritius. We are happy to further deepen our exchanges in this domain.
We applaud the leadership shown by Prime Minister Jugnauth in drawing attention to the importance of renewable energy. The signing and ratification of the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance by Mauritius has opened up new vistas of regional partnership for both countries in this field.
We take pride in this contribution of the Indian-origin community to the national life of Mauritius. To promote our thriving links with the diaspora in Mauritius, India had, in January this year, declared a special carve-out on OCI cards only for Mauritius. Our flag carrier airlines have agreed to enhance their code sharing arrangement to new destinations. This too is expected to lead to greater tourism and people-to-people contacts between our countries.
Apart from bilateral issues, Prime Minister Jugnauth and I also exchanged views on a range of regional and global issues. We agreed to continue supporting each other in multilateral fora and cooperate closely on our common challenges and interests. Prime Minister Jugnauth’s visit will contribute to elevating our relationship to new heights on the bed-rock of our traditional links. I thank Prime Minister Jugnauth for his vision and support to our relationship. And I look forward to working closely with him in the coming months as we put into action the decisions we have taken today. Once again, I extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Jugnauth and wish him a fruitful stay in India.
Thank you very much.