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THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SHRIMATI PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL'S STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA ONBOARD THE SPECIAL AIRCRAFT ON HER WAY BACK FROM HER STATE VISIT TO THE MAURITIUS 

28-04-2011 : On Board Special Aircraft 

Speech


My visit to Mauritius highlighted the abiding bonds of friendship and generated a greater momentum towards a deeper, strengthened and more diverse partnership. Our bilateral relations have obtained a broader vision and both sides acknowledge that these are for mutual benefit. Both countries enjoy a unique and special relationship in the backdrop of our cultural, historical and linguistic linkages which has been nurtured and groomed into a modern-day partnership. The strong and enduring relationship between India and Mauritius is based on shared democratic values and the commonality of being pluralistic societies. My address at the National Assembly of Mauritius was to particularly emphasize the importance of the long tradition of democracy upheld by our two countries which also links us together. 

There is regular high-level political dialogue between India and Mauritius and my visit was a part of that process. I had a fruitful meeting with Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President of Mauritius. I held detailed discussions with Prime Minister Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam. I also met the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Paul Raymond Berenger, the Chief Justice of Mauritius, and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius. 

I reiterated that there exists a national consensus in India on the further consolidation and expansion of our bilateral cooperation with Mauritius. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam stated that our ties nurtured by renewed understanding, trust and mutual support, will continue to evolve and flourish. I too am confident that my interactions with the leadership of Mauritius will provide a greater momentum and thrust to our partnership. 

Our discussions focused on a diverse range of issues covered under our multi-sectoral and vibrant bilateral partnership. While expressing satisfaction over the current state of our relations, we did feel that the already considerable and growing opportunities could be exploited particularly in the area of trade and economic cooperation. It was agreed to convene the next meeting of the Joint Working Group on the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention. 

The Indian business delegation accompanying me was hopeful that a more congenial atmosphere has been generated now that they have had the opportunity to interact with their counterparts and 7 Ministers of the Government of Mauritius who attended their meeting. I also participated in the Business Meet during my stay there to listen to views from the captains of industry from both sides and encourage them to further participate in our bilateral economic exchanges. I am glad that two business MOUs are being signed by private companies. 

We have agreed to enhance exchanges in the fields of higher education; information technology; science and technology; tourism; hospitality; culture; rural development and Ayurveda. People to people contacts reflecting our common heritage and traditions will remain prominent in these exchanges.

Mauritius has been unequivocal in its condemnation of International Terrorism. It has consistently supported India's candidature for permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council. On both these issues, the leadership of Mauritius again reaffirmed its position. 

As a country deeply committed to the security of Mauritius and its people, we are determined to work with the Government of Mauritius in enhancing the security of its people through concrete measures including joint action against piracy. 

The understandings and exchange of views during my visit have firmly established a solid foundation for the intensification and enhancement of our mutually beneficial strategic partnership and in bringing our two peoples closer together for a better future.

I have invited President Sir Anerood Jugnauth and Prime Minister Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam to visit India. They have accepted the invitations. Mutually convenient dates will be decided through diplomatic channels. I must add that the presence of both of them at the University of Mauritius, where I was conferred a Doctorate Honoris Causa was a remarkable gesture indicative of the strong bonds of affinity, I was honored and I deeply appreciate their participation. 

My visits to the Aapravasi Ghat, the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture - where Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam and I jointly unveiled the bust of Mrs. Indira Gandhi - were touching reminders of the links that have been woven over a period of time between the leadership and the peoples of our two countries. 

I will conclude by mentioning my visit to Le Morne which was to recall the sacrifices of those who struggled against the inequalities which human beings suffered over the course of many centuries, from the scourge of slavery. It was a homage to those who gave up their lives in the struggle for equality and freedom. 

Thank you.

 
 
 


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