India, Mauritius to step up vigil against threats in Indian Ocean

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India and Mauritius on Saturday agreed to cooperate in stepping up vigil against conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean.

After holding discussions with visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a press conference, that as frontline states of the Indian Ocean, the two sides ensure collective maritime security around the coasts and in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

"We agree that effective management of conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean is essential to pursue economic opportunities. And, for this India-Mauritius cooperation is very very important," said the Prime Minister.

He added that the two nations need to keep up vigil against piracy that impacts trade and tourism, trafficking of drugs and humans, illegal fishing and other forms of illegal exploitation of marine resources.

The conclusion of the bilateral Maritime Security Agreement will strengthen our mutual cooperation and capacities, said Prime Minister Modi.

"We have also agreed to further strengthen our wide-ranging cooperation in hydrography for a secure and peaceful maritime domain," he added.

India is supporting the National Coast Guard of Mauritius in augmenting its capacity through Project Trident and will renew the life of the Coast Guard Ship Guardian, that was provided to Mauritius, under a grant assistance programme.

India also agreed to provide a Line of Credit of USD 500 million to Mauritius for various projects.

"We applaud the leadership shown by Prime Minister Jugnauth in drawing attention to the importance of renewable energy. The signing and ratification of the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance by Mauritius has opened up new vistas of regional partnership for both countries in this field," the Prime Minster concluded.

The Prime Minister also declared a special carve-out on OCI cards for Mauritius.

On his part, the Mauritian leader said, "We need to ensure that our sea links are safe and secure and our regular patrolling is conducted to combat illegal activities."

He said that India and Mauritius have developed strong bilateral cooperation in the field of defense and security.

"The acquisition of offshore patrol vessels and fast interceptable boats have enhanced the capacity of our police and national coast guards to patrol and protect our maritime zones. We also appreciate the training dispensed to our police personnel which have enhance their skills," he added. (ANI)
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