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India-Mauritius Joint Statement

July 02, 2003

Official Visit of H.E Mr. Yashwant Sinha, Minister of External Affairs, Government of the Republic of India to the Republic of Mauritius 1-3 July 2003
  • At the invitation of the Hon. Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Co-operation of the Republic of Mauritius, H.E Shri Yashwant Sinha, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India paid an official visit to Mauritius from 1-3 July 2003.
  • During the visit, the Hon. Minister of External Affairs of India called on H.E Karl Auguste Offmann, President of the Republic of Mauritius, H.E Abdool Raouf Bundhun, Vice President of the Republic of Mauritius, the Rt. Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister and H.E Paul Raymond Berenger, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.
  • H.E Shri Yashwant Sinha, the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India visited the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka, Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture and the CyberCity being constructed with Indian collaboration. He also interacted with a wide cross section of the Mauritius business community and the people of Indian origin.
  • Both sides expressed satisfaction that action had already been initiated to implement cooperation in areas such as renewable energy, anti-narcotics, counter terrorism, oil exploration, handicrafts, etc, which were identified during the visit of the Rt. Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, to India in January 2003.
  • The following agreements were signed during the visit of the Minister of External Affairs of India:
    1. MoU on Foreign Office Consultations Mechanism
    2. MoU in the field of Social Defence including the Welfare of the Elderly, Programme of Demand Reduction with regard to Drug Abuse, Welfare of Street Children, Juvenile Justice System and other areas in the general field of Social Defence.
    3. Extension of MoU on Training of Small and Medium Enterprises run by Women in Mauritius.
  • Both sides also agreed that the following MoUs should be concluded at the earliest possible:
    1. MoU in the Field of Non-Conventional Energy Sources.
    2. MoU on the Exchange of Airport Personnel, Information on Search and Rescue Emergency, and Consultancy Service in Air Traffic Management and Civil Aviation Regulations.
    3. MoU on Environment Matters between the Ministry of Environment of Mauritius and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of India.
    4. MoU including Concept Paper in respect of the World Hindi Secretariat and its staffing.
    5. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Prospection and Exploration of Oil and Gas Resources in the Mauritius EEZ.
  • The Hon. Minister of External Affairs of India held official discussions with the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Cooperation of Mauritius. The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere and covered a wide range of issues pertaining to bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest.
  • The two Ministers reiterated that Indo-Mauritian relations were characterised by the deep and abiding bonds based on common friendship, culture, and a shared civilisational heritage. They reaffirmed the vision for a closer and stronger relationship between the two countries and stressed that the traditional and historical ties between India and Mauritius should be further strengthened.
  • Both Ministers expressed satisfaction that the strategic partnership between the two countries in information technology was taking shape with the establishment of the CyberCity in Mauritius. They agreed that this project is a pointer to the way ahead in the bilateral economic relations between the two countries. It was agreed in this context that the Mauritian proposal for a Bio-Informatics Institute in Mauritius to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, which are rich in bio diversity, and resources need to be implemented expeditiously. Both sides are happy to note that a Joint Advisory Committee is being established.
  • They reaffirmed their commitment to democracy and secularism and emphasized on the importance of harmonious co-existence in multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual societies, and stressed on the concept of unity in diversity.
  • Both sides felt that the bilateral relations have reached a stage at which strengthening of existing institutional mechanism was necessary. In this context, it was agreed that the scope of Joint Commission between the two countries would be expanded to set up Joint Working Groups on trade and investment, terrorism, science and technology (including IT), culture and textiles under the umbrella of the Joint Commission. It was further agreed that the Joint Commission should meet at the earliest possible.
  • Both Ministers recognised the potential of increased flow of investment between the two countries. During the last decade, Indian investment amounted to US$ 90 million approximately representing nearly 20% of total foreign direct investment inflows in the Mauritius EPZ sector. More Indian investments with a value of more than approximately US$ 335 million, in electronics, cables, ICT, spinning and light engineering products are in the pipeline. In the wake of developments in the regional integration process, Mauritius, as member of COMESA and SADC offers opportunities to attract investors from India to tap preferential markets in the member state countries. In this context, Mauritius has agreed to set up a high level group to study the proposal for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
  • India welcomed suggestion of Mauritius to convene a conference of political leaders from countries with large community of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York or CHOGM this year. It was agreed that Mauritius would take initiative in this regard. India offered its assistance to facilitate this conference.
  • Both sides expressed satisfaction about the level of bilateral cooperation in the defence and security areas. India reiterated its commitment to provide assistance to Mauritius in the defence sector, including training. India would provide assistance in conducting hydrographic surveys of the harbours, ports, and outer islands of Mauritius and update existing navigational charts. The Indian navy would also assist in the surveillance of the exclusive economic zone of Mauritius. The procurement of equipment such as Dornier aircraft is under active consideration of the Mauritian authorities.
  • India and Mauritius affirmed that no cause or reason could justify terrorism. Both sides reiterated their firm belief that the fight against terrorism has to be global, comprehensive and sustained so as to totally eliminate terrorism everywhere. In this context, they reaffirmed their commitment to UN Security Resolution 1373. Both sides underlined the need for the global fight against terrorism to address those who instigate, support or assist terrorism, as much as those who perpetrate terrorism. The Mauritian side appreciated India's efforts to promote peace and to counter cross border terrorism in the Indian sub-continent. It welcomed the recent initiative taken by the Prime Minister of India aimed at fostering friendship and good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan. To create an appropriate atmosphere for a sustained dialogue, cross border terrorism must end and its sources should be dismantled. Mauritius supports resolution of India-Pakistan issues through bilateral dialogue based on the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.
  • Both Ministers welcomed the agreements reached on the plan of implementation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in August 2002, reaffirming the Rio principles, in particular, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The Ministers expressed their concern about the adverse effect of climate change and its implications and highlighted the vulnerabilities of both countries to this problem. In this regard, they expressed their desire for an early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Both sides highlighted the importance of the initiation of negotiations within the framework of the Convention on Bio Diversity towards an international regime for promoting and protecting the just and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilisation of genetic resources.
  • The two sides recalled the specificities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and welcomed the holding in Mauritius in August/September 2004 of the International Meeting on the Comprehensive Review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS. India affirmed her support to Mauritius in this endeavour.
  • The two sides reaffirmed their faith in the Non-Aligned Movement. They agreed that the NAM can play an important role in addressing global issues such as poverty alleviation, financing for development, food security, issues of international peace and security, terrorism and disarmament as well as environmental protection.
  • India and Mauritius share the belief that the emerging world order should be just, equitable, multi-polar and based on the principles of democracy, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and respect for human rights and principles of the United Nations.
  • Both sides agreed to coordinate positions in the international fora. It is imperative to expanding the UN Security Council to make it more representative and efficient. The External Affairs Minister of India conveyed the appreciation of Indian government for the Mauritian support to India's candidature to the permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
  • The External Affairs Minister of India, Shri Yashwant Sinha expressed his deep gratitude to the Government of Mauritius for the warm welcome offered to him and his delegation. He extended invitation to H.E. Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius to visit India. He also extended invitation to H.E. Paul Raymond Berenger, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, on behalf of the Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister of India, Shri L.K Advani. The invitations were accepted with pleasure and it was agreed that mutually convenient dates would be finalized through diplomatic channels.
(Yashwant Sinha)
Minister of External Affairs
Republic of India
(Anil Kumarsingh Gayan)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Regional Cooperation

July 2, 2003

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