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DEPARTURE STATEMENT ON BOARD BY H.E. SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL, THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA ON HER STATE VISIT TO THE MAURITIUS 

24-04-2011 : On Board Special Aircraft

Speech

Good morning. I will be visiting Mauritius, a country with which we have strong bonds of affinity. Not only are the shores of our two countries washed by the waters of same Ocean, but the presence of a large number of people of Indian origin in Mauritius have created bonds of kinship. I am looking forward to my visit to Mauritius, as an opportunity to reaffirm our unique relationship, and to further strengthen the framework of co-operation. 

During my visit, I will be meeting President Sir Anerood Jugnauth and holding discussions with Prime Minister Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam. I will be addressing the Mauritian National Assembly, and also meeting the Leader of Opposition, Mr. Paul Berenger. I will have an opportunity to exchange views with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mauritius. At the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture, apart from unveiling the statue of our late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, I will be interacting with the members of the Indian community. My other engagements include a visit to the University of Mauritius, and interaction with the business communities of our two countries. An Indian business delegation will be in Mauritius during my visit. 

I will also be going to sites of historical and cultural importance,that reflect the commonalities between our two countries. My visit to the Aapravasi Ghat, will be to recall the journey of Indians who came to Mauritius about 200 years ago, and contributed to making Mauritius what it is today. Moreover, Mahatma Gandhi had stopped in Mauritius on his way back to India from South Africa in 1901. Paying homage to him in Mauritius will be a particularly significant event for me.

The India and Mauritius partnership today, is wide-ranging and multi-faceted, its depth and diversity indicates that it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Our common commitment to democratic ideals and pluralistic society anchors our close ties. We aim to further enhance the level of our engagement to newer heights. My discussions with the leadership of Mauritius will cover a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. I hope that the exchange of views at these meetings, will provide a greater momentum and thrust, to the process of consolidation and development of our partnership in all spheres. 

Mauritius has extended support to India on global issues of crucial importance to us. It has consistently supported India's candidature for a permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council. It has been unequivocal in its condemnation of international terrorism. We are committed to work with the Government of Mauritius to jointly fight piracy and enhance security in the Indian Ocean, through mutually agreed measures. 

We look at Mauritius as a friendly country in the African continent. I am, therefore, pleased that the first country in Africa which I will be visiting, is Mauritius. India-Africa relations are historical and strong. They hold great promise in the future as well. In 2008, we initiated the India-Africa Forum Summit, as a platform for broader engagement with countries in Africa. I am pleased that the Second meeting of the India-Africa Forum Summit is to take place next month in Ethiopia.

I am looking forward to my visit to Mauritius, as it is not only a valuable bilateral partner, but also an important ally in the multi-lateral fora.

Thank you.
 
 
 


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