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Kovind holds talks, meets top leadership in Mauritius

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Visiting Indian President Ram Nath Kovind led delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius and members of his Cabinet here yesterday.
 
The President also witnessed the exchange of several agreements and MoUs between India and Mauritius on the second day of his visit.
 
India has announced a new line of credit of $ 100 million for defence procurement by Mauritius. It offered a Multi-Purpose Offshore Patrol Vessel (MPOPV) to Mauritius to augment its security capacity. This would be financed through the new defence LOC and also with an additional grant component of $ 5 million.
 
The other agreements/MoUs exchanged were an MoU on cooperation between Nalanda University in Bihar and Mauritius; an MoU on the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair at the University of Mauritius; an MoU between the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India and the Public Service Commission of Mauritius, whereby the UPSC will provide necessary assistance for capacity building to its Mauritian counterpart and an agreement to facilitate cultural exchanges between the two countries.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kovind said, “India and Mauritius share common security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region. India has assisted Mauritius in the past by supplying patrol vessels. Taking this cooperation further, I am happy to announce today that India will supply a Multi-Purpose Offshore Patrol Vessel to Mauritius under a Line of Credit.”
 
Later in the day, several Mauritian dignitaries including Chief Justice Kheshoe Parsad Matadeen, National Assembly Speaker Santi Bai Hanoomanjee and Leader of Opposition Xavier Luc Duval called on him.
 
In these meetings, Mr Kovind reiterated that India accords great importance to the steady development of relations between the two countries. India-Mauritius bilateral cooperation is comprehensive and multi-faceted. A regular high-level interaction between political leaders of the two countries has given direction and impetus to this partnership. Shared values of democracy, rule of law and social harmony further reinforce the relationship, he added.
 
Earlier this morning, the President visited Ganga Talao and the Apravasi Ghat World Heritage site to pay his tributes. Both these sites are held in great reverence by the Indian community in Mauritius. Apravasi Ghat represents the location where members of the early Indian community arrived in Mauritius as indentured labourers in the 19th century.
 
Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim hosted a lunch in honour of Mr Kovind. Speaking on the occasion, the President thanked the Government and people of Mauritius for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He congratulated Mauritius on the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from colonial rule.
 
On March 11, Mr Kovind attended a welcome banquet hosted by Mr. Jugnauth. Speaking on the occasion, the President expressed his gratitude to the government for inviting him to be Chief Guest for the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Mauritius. He said that this is a distinct honour for the 1.3 billion people of India.
 
He said Mauritius is a gateway to the Indian Ocean Region and to Africa. It can serve as a hub for Indian companies looking to access the African mainland. As the proverbial “Star and Key” of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has a natural convergence of interests with India. “Our cooperation in maritime security and counter-terrorism has been exemplary,” he added.
 
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