India, Mauritius natural partners in dealing with challenges in Indian Ocean region: PM Modi

PM Modi and Mauritian counterpart inaugurate development projects, strengthen partnership
PM Modi and Mauritian counterpart inaugurate development projects, strengthen partnership
PM Modi and Mauritian counterpart inaugurate development projects, strengthen partnership

New Delhi | ) India and Mauritius are natural partners in the maritime domain to deal with traditional and non-traditional challenges in the Indian Ocean region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday after virtually inaugurating a number of New Delhi-assisted development projects in the island nation.

The prime minister also announced that Mauritius will be the first country to join India's Jan Aushadhi scheme, an initiative rolled out to provide quality medicines at affordable prices.

At a virtual ceremony, Modi and his Mauritian prime minister counterpart Pravind Jugnauth inaugurated several community development projects at the Agalega Island in Mauritius that were implemented with India's financial assistance.

The projects included an airstrip and a jetty.

In his brief address at the event, Modi described Mauritius as an important partner under India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy, noting that the two countries achieved "new heights" in mutual cooperation in the last few years.

He also referred to various challenges in the Indian Ocean region.

"Various traditional and non-traditional challenges are emerging in the Indian Ocean region. These challenges impact our economic systems. India and Mauritius are natural partners in the maritime domain to deal with these challenges," the prime minister said.

"We are working actively towards ensuring security, prosperity and stability in the Indian Ocean region," he said.

His comments came amid increasing concerns in New Delhi over China's growing military forays into the Indian Ocean region which is largely considered as the backyard of the Indian Navy.

Modi also said that the development partnership between India and Mauritius has been a "significant pillar" of the political relationship between the two sides.

"Our development partnership is based on Mauritius' priorities," he said.

The development projects are expected to fulfil the demand for better connectivity between mainland Mauritius and Agalega.

The inauguration of these projects came weeks after the launch of India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) systems and RuPay card services in Mauritius.

"We are making history today on the island of Agalega with the inauguration of a new airstrip, a new jetty and several other development projects," Jugnauth said at the event.

"This event marks a great moment for the remarkable and exemplary partnership between Mauritius and India," he added.

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