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India extends $500 mn credit to Mauritius, sign maritime security pact

27 May 2017

India has extended a $500 million line of credit to Mauritius as the two countries signed maritime security pact today during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held talks with visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and discussed maritime and coastal security in the Indian Ocean among other issues.

"PM Jugnauth and I agreed that it is our responsibility to ensure maritime security around our coasts," Modi said after holding talks with his Mauritius counterpart.

''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,'' the prime minster said.

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,'' he said.

The talks gain significance in the wake of China's aggressive posturing in the Indian Ocean as it tries to extend help to India's neighbours having coastline.

"Effective management of conventional, non-conventional threats in Indian Ocean essential for pursuing economic opportunities," Narendra Modi said highlighting the concerns.

Mauritius also submitted its instrument of ratification of the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA).

The ISA, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on 30 November 2015, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Jugnauth arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day state visit to India. This is Jugnauth's first visit abroad since assuming office this January.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj today met Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment.

During the meeting, Swaraj said there was scope to expand bilateral ties in a range of areas.

Jugnauth held discussions with home minister Rajnath Singh, railway minister Suresh Prabhu and petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan yesterday.

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