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PM Modi, Mauritius counterpart Jugnauth jointly inaugurate airstrip and jetty in Agalega Islands

PM Modi said India and Mauritius are natural partners in the maritime domain to combat traditional and non-traditional challenges in the Indian Ocean region. Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth, on the other hand, thanked the Indian leader for giving special consideration to the island nation.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: February 29, 2024 18:35 IST
PM Modi, Mauritius PM, Pravind Jugnauth, development projects
Image Source : PTI PM Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth during the inauguration of development projects in Mauritius.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday virtually inaugurated a new airstrip, jetty and six other India-assisted development projects in Agalega, Mauritius along with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth. The Indian leader said India and Mauritius are natural partners in the maritime domain to combat traditional and non-traditional challenges in the Indian Ocean region.

The India-assisted projects, including St James Jetty, 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 the inauguration, PM Modi announced that Mauritius would be the first country to join India's Jan Aushadhi scheme, an initiative aimed at providing quality medicines at affordable prices.

"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, while highlighting concerns in the Indian Ocean.

PM 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 between the two countries and hailed Mauritius as an important partner of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

'Unprecedented momentum' in bilateral ties: PM Modi

Speaking further, the Prime Minister said the ties between India and Mauritius have embraced an "unprecedented momentum " over ten years and that the two countries have attained new heights in mutual cooperation. "In the last six months, this is the fifth meeting between me and PM Jugnauth. This is proof of a vibrant, strong and unique partnership between India and Mauritius. Mauritius is an important partner of our 'Neighborhood First' Policy. Mauritius is our special partner under our vision 'SAGAR'. As members of the Global South, we have common priorities" PM Modi said.

The Indian Prime Minister further said India has always respected and fulfilled the aspirations 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 added. PM Modi said the basic objective of India's efforts is to bring about meaningful changes in the lives of common people in Mauritius.

He also spoke about the "vibrant, strong and unique" partnership between India and Mauritius, adding the island nation is New Delhi's special partner under its vision of 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth For All in the Region). He further congratulated Jugnauth for his "far-sighted vision and dynamic leadership" and expressed confidence that relations between India and Mauritius relations will attain new heights in the times to come. 

Speaking about the benefits of the projects, he said, "These facilities that have been jointly inaugurated today will enhance ease of living. It will improve connectivity between the North and Southern parts of Mauritius and will improve administrative connection with the mainland. Medical evacuation and transportation of school kids will improve."

Jugnauth on India's 'far-reaching' support to Mauritius

Mauritius PM Jugnauth thanked his Indian counterpart for providing a new dimension to ties between the two countries. "This event marks another great moment for the remarkable and exemplary partnership between Mauritius and India," the Mauritian leader said.

Jugnauth said the setting up of the facilities in Agalega is the fulfillment of yet another Mauritian dream that could not have been possible without India's assistance, which has entirely financed these infrastructural projects. He expressed gratitude to PM Modi for the special consideration that he has given to Mauritius since he assumed the responsibility as India's Prime Minister.

"As your inspiring leadership and statesmanship radiates across the world, the people of India and the Indian diaspora have strongly established themselves as a global powerhouse of values, knowledge and success. Today, the people of Agalega are very proud of the developments that are taking place on the island," he told PM Modi, saying India's support to Mauritius is "far-reaching".

Speaking about the benefits of the Jan Aushadhi Scheme for the people of Mauritius, he said, "This scheme will allow our country to source some 250 high-quality medicines from the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Bureau of India. It will ensure access to quality medicines from India for our population, especially the vulnerable."

(with inputs from agencies)

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