Defence minister visits Mauritius
Defence minister visits Mauritius

The defence minister Manohar Parrikar was on a two-day visit to Mauritius from December 10. This was the first-ever visit by a defence minister of India to Mauritius. He was accompanied by senior officers of the Indian Navy (IN), Indian Air Force (IAF) and ministry of defence (MoD).

Parrikar called on the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth and was the special guest of honour at the Commissioning Ceremony of CGS Victory and two Chetak Helicopters. During the meeting with the prime minister, both sides expressed their deep satisfaction over the close and growing defence and security cooperation and collaboration between India and Mauritius. Emphasising their mutual security interests, Parrikar said that the government of India would continue to extend its full support to Mauritius for training and capacity building, as well as supply and maintenance of defence equipment.

CGS Victory, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WFAC), was manufactured by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and funded by a government of India Line of Credit. CGS Valiant, another WFAC also being manufactured by Goa Shipyard Limited for the government of Mauritius, is due for delivery in mid-2017. With the induction of the CGS Victory, the National Coast Guard of Mauritius will be able to widen its Outer Island support activities and conduct in-depth surveillance in the Mauritian EEZ for tackling transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, piracy, smuggling and terrorism.

The two Chetak helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were gifted by government of India to the Police Helicopter Squadron (PHS) of the Mauritius Police Force. These two helicopters have an operational life of 15 years and would enhance and supplement the existing capabilities of the Mauritius PHS for Search and Rescue operations, emergency evacuations and Anti-Cannabis cultivation operations in Mauritius.

Parrikar also graced a deck reception on-board the Indian Survey Ship INS Darshak, which is on a month-long deployment to Mauritius for conducting hydrographic surveys. Mauritian dignitaries and prominent members of the Indian community attended the deck reception.

India has a long history of cooperation with Mauritius in the defence and maritime security sector. With this visit, both India and Mauritius reaffirmed their strong commitment to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).


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