NEW DELHI: India and Mauritius today explored greater collaboration in the area of defence and security even as discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between the two countries restarted.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday met visiting Finance Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
She appreciated Jugnauth for giving priority to visiting India on his first tour abroad which was in keeping with the “very special blood relationship” between India and Mauritius, official sources said.
She said India has always given full support to the development priorities of Mauritius.
We are finalising the MoU under which the Metro Express project and other projects announced by Jugnauth in his budget could begin to be implemented, sources said.
The long-standing request from Mauritius for restarting negotiations on CECPA and PTA (trade agreement) had also been met with discussions held yesterday in Port Louis, they added.
Swaraj thanked Jugnauth for the forward looking decision which had made the protocol on amendment of the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) possible.
This, she said, had added to Mauritius’ financial credentials.
Swaraj said long-standing partnership between India and Mauritius had played a critical role in ensuring peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region.
In this context, both leaders called for greater collaboration in the area of defence and security. India offered to provide assistance in terms of hydrographic surveys, sources said.
The two leaders also discussed their concerns on terrorism and agreed to increase the collaboration in this area.
Jugnauth reiterated Mauritius’ consistent support for India’s bid for permanent membership of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In terms of people-to-people contacts, the two leaders discussed the construction of the World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius.
Swaraj invited significant participation from Mauritius in the forthcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), 2017.
She said India would be sending a delegation this month to examine whether it can use the Girmtiya records for giving Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.
Girmitiya records relate to indentured labourers from India working in plantations in Mauritius.