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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 12.03.2018

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, today (March 12, 2018) led delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius and members of his Cabinet. The President also witnessed the exchange of several agreements/MoUs between India and Mauritius.

India announced a new Line of Credit of USD 100 million for defence procurement by the Government of 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 announced today, and also with an additional grant component of USD 5 million.

The other Agreements/MoUs exchanged today were anMoU on cooperation between Nalanda University in Bihar and Mauritius; an MoU on the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair at the University of Mauritius; anMoU 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, President 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, President Kovind received various dignitaries who called on him. The Mauritian dignitaries included Justice Kheshoe Parsad Matadeen, Chief of Justice of Mauritius; Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, Speaker, National Assembly of Mauritius; and Mr Xavier Luc Duval, Leader of Opposition of Mauritius.

In these meetings, the President iterated that India accords great importance to the steady development of relations between our countries. India-Mauritius bilateral cooperation is comprehensive and multi-faceted. 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 our relationship.

Earlier this morning, the President visitedGanga Talaoand theApravasi 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.

The President of the Republic of Mauritius,Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, hosted a lunch in honour of President Kovind today (March 12, 2018). Speaking on the occasion, the Presidentthanked the Government and people of Mauritius for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He congratulated Mauritius on the 50thanniversary of the country’s independence from colonial rule.

Later this evening (March 12, 2018), President Kovind will attendthe 50thanniversary celebrations of the independence of Mauritius.

Yesterday evening (March 11, 2018), the President attended a welcome banquet hosted by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. Speaking on the occasion, the Presidentexpressed his gratitudeto the Government of Mauritius for inviting him to be Chief Guest for the celebrations of the 50thanniversary of the independence of Mauritius. He said that this is a distinct honour for the 1.3 billion people of India.

The President said that 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.

This release issued at 1850 hrs.