Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Port Louis [Mauritius], February 21 (ANI): After concluding his two-day visit to the Maldives, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday reached Mauritius and said he looks forward to a "fruitful" visit.

He was received by Mauritius Foreign Minister Alan Ganoo.

"Namaste-Bonsoir Mauritius. Thank FM Alan Ganoo for his warm welcome. Look forward to a fruitful visit," Jaishankar tweeted.

The last visit of an External Affairs Minister to Mauritius was in August 2018 when former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Mauritius for the 11th World Hindi Conference, sources said.

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jagnauth visited India on a private visit along with his spouse in December 2019.

In July 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jugnauth jointly e-inaugurated the new Supreme Court building in Mauritius built with India grant assistance.

Prior to this in October 2019, both Prime Ministers had jointly inaugurated Phase 1 of the landmark Metro Express project and a new ENT hospital in Mauritius. These people-oriented infrastructure projects have further cemented the close ties between India and Mauritius.

Metro Express Project is the largest infrastructure project being executed by India in Mauritius. Since its inauguration, metro ridership has already crossed more than 3.1 million in the last year. This is a significant milestone for a country whose population is only 1.3 million, sources said.

The ENT hospital, built with Indian assistance, has proved to be an important asset for Mauritius as it is the main healthcare facility handling Covid-19 infection cases in Mauritius. India is a partner of preference for Mauritius in meeting its defence requirements and a regular supplier of defence equipment, vessels, aircraft etc. to Mauritius, they added.

India has also demonstrated steadfast support to Mauritius during the Covid pandemic, according to the sources.

Mauritius was amongst the largest beneficiaries of India's Covid related assistance. Under the Mission SAGAR, India supplied 13 tonnes of essential medicines, five lakh HCQ tablets and 10 tonnes of Ayurvedic medicines to Mauritius in April-May 2020.

A special Medical Assistance Team was also sent to Mauritius to supplement the local government's efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under India's Vaccine Maitri, Mauritius also received 1,00,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine from India on January 22. The Mauritius prime minister was personally present at the airport along with his Cabinet Ministers to receive the vaccines. Mass vaccination commenced on January 26, 2021, in Mauritius as a symbolic move coinciding with India's 72nd Republic Day. (ANI)

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