New Delhi: India, Mauritius natural partners in maritime

New Delhi: India, Mauritius natural partners in maritime

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurate several India-assisted development projects at the Agalega Island in Mauritius, via a video conference, on Thursday


Modi, Jugnauth inaugurate airstrip, jetty, 6 other India-assisted projects in Mauritius

New Delhi : India and Mauritius are natural partners in the maritime domain to combat traditional and non-traditional challenges in the Indian Ocean region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday after virtually inaugurating a new airstrip, a jetty and six community development projects in the island nation.

The India-assisted projects in Agalega island of Mauritius are seen as significant as they are expected to boost connectivity as well as maritime security and surveillance in the strategic waters in the region. After inaugurating the projects along with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Modi announced that Mauritius will be the first country to join India's Jan Aushadhi scheme, which is an initiative aimed at providing quality medicines at affordable prices.

In his remarks, Modi flagged concerns over challenges in the Indian Ocean region and said India and Mauritius are "natural partners" in the maritime domain to deal with them. "Many traditional and non-traditional challenges are emerging in the Indian Ocean Region.

All these challenges affect our economy. India and Mauritius are natural partners in the field of maritime security to deal with the challenges," he said at the virtual ceremony.

"We are actively working to ensure security, prosperity and stability in the Indian Ocean Region. We are cooperating together in all areas like monitoring of exclusive economic zone, joint patrolling, hydrography, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," he said.

Modi’s comments came amid increasing concerns in New Delhi over China’s growing military forays into the Indian Ocean region which is largely considered as the backyard of the Indian Navy.

He said the inauguration of the airstrip and jetty at Agalega island will further advance the cooperation. The prime minister described Mauritius as an important partner under India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy and that the bilateral development partnership has been an important pillar of the strategic relations. “Our development partnerships are based on the priorities of Mauritius. Be it Mauritius’s needs related to EEZ (exclusive economic zone) security, or health security, India has always respected the needs of Mauritius,” he said. Modi said the basic objective of India’s efforts is to bring about meaningful changes in the lives of common people in Mauritius.

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