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China, radical Islam stand out on the security agenda of India and Mauritius

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar on Wednesday (Images courtesy: PMO/PIB)

India and Mauritius continue to bolster their defence and strategic partnership, not only to counter the growing Chinese activism in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) but also the radical Islamist ideologies, the sudden rise of which in its territory has stunned the island country.

Currently on a week-long visit to India, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth held detailed discussions on "several issues of common interest at the bilateral and multilateral levels" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit at Gandhinagar in Gujarat on Wednesday.

"Held productive discussions with PM @KumarJugnauth. We talked about further deepening bilateral cooperation between India and Mauritius across different sectors," tweeted PM Modi after the bilateral meeting.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) highlighted that the two leaders discussed the ongoing development partnership and cooperation in defence, capacity building, people to people exchanges and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. They also reviewed progress of the Metro Express Project and the proposal for an AYUSH Centre of Excellence in Mauritius.


"At the tête-à-tête meeting I had with Prime Minister Shri @NarendraModi, several issues of mutual interest were discussed. The challenging times the world is living through have reinforced the relevance of the Mauritius-India Partnership," tweeted Jugnauth.

India attaches huge importance to substantive cooperation with key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean and has in the last few years built robust ties with countries like Maldives and Mauritius under PM Modi's vision of 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region).  

In February 2021, during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit to Port Louis, an agreement was signed between India and Mauritius for the extension of a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Mauritius for the purpose of financing procurement of defence equipment from India.

In January this year, in line with the Modi government's vision to boost defence exports to friendly foreign countries, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had signed a contract with the Mauritius government for export of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk III) for the Mauritius Police Force.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, India had handed over a Dornier aircraft on lease and completed the short refit of the Mauritian Coast Guard ship Barracuda.

Last month, at New Delhi's initiative, Mauritius left the observer status and joined founding members India, Maldives and Sri Lanka at the Colombo Security Conclave – an initiative led by India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval which is now also being referred to as the 'South Asian Quad' or the 'Quad minilateral' by many.


As maritime neighbours, facing similar threats, countries of the Indian Ocean Region led by India, have time and again reaffirmed their commitment to engage in consistent joint efforts to achieve regional peace and security.

Their key areas of cooperation includes maritime safety and security; countering terrorism and radicalisation; combating trafficking and transnational organised crime; cyber security, protection of critical infrastructure and technology; and, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

India has also extended full support to Mauritius, a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, as it tackles the outreach of violent extremist ideologies after some of its citizens joined terror groups like the ISIS and Al Qaeda.

"India and Mauritius are united by history, ancestry, culture, language and the shared waters of the Indian Ocean. Today, our robust development partnership has emerged as a key pillar of our close ties. Mauritius is a prime example of India's approach to development partnership which is based on the needs and priorities of our partners and respects their sovereignty," PM Modi had said at the launch of development projects in Mauritius, earlier this year.

Also Read: Led by NSA Doval, South Asia Quad on maritime security takes shape in the Maldives