GIS – 16 December, 2019: The Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, expressed, on Friday 13 December 2019 at the annual diplomatic dinner in Balaclava, his warmest congratulations to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Mr Boris Johnson on his party’s decisive win at the general elections. He also urged the British government to reconsider its position on the Chagos Archipelago issue.
In his speech, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the traditional end-of-year diplomatic gathering, organised by his Office, is an opportunity to renew and celebrate the bonds of friendship that unite the diplomatic corps to reaffirm their shared commitment with a view to enhancing ties. He expressed sincere appreciation to the diplomatic corps for their contribution in advancing bilateral and international partnerships, adding that Mauritius attaches high importance to its bilateral ties.
With regard to the Chagos issue, the Prime Minister recalled that on 25 February 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave a historic Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. The Court ruled almost unanimously that the Chagos is and has always been an integral part of Mauritius and that the decolonisation of Mauritius was not lawfully completed upon its assertion to Independence, he added.
Mauritius, Mr Jugnauth said, has always considered the UK to be a close partner, with which it has very close ties. He expressed hope that the new government, which is soon to be formed, will frame a new policy with regard to the decolonisation of Mauritius on the basis of the Advisory Opinion and the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution 73/295.
Moreover, the Prime Minister conveyed gratitude to all countries for their oral and written submissions to the ICJ for the claim of the Chagos Archipelago’s sovereignty by Mauritius. He also seized the opportunity to express gratitude to the European Union (EU) and African Union for their unflinching support on various fronts.
Speaking about the significant contribution of countries and organisations in the socioeconomic development of Mauritius, Mr Jugnauth expressed satisfaction for the partnerships forged and the progress achieved together during the current year. He commended the establishment of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Ghana.
The Prime Minister reiterated Government’s intention to continue to work closely with like-minded nations who aspire to a fairer, more equitable, safer international environment so as to relentlessly commit and endeavour for a more sustainable world where stability and civilised order prevail.
As regards the different State Visits that took place this year, Mr Jugnauth stated that it was an honour to receive the President of the Republic of Mozambique; the President of Madagascar; the President of the Republic of Kenya and; His Holiness, Pope Francis. Mauritius, he assured, will continue to work hand-in-hand with different countries to make this world a safer place. On this note, he presented his seasons’ greeting to the diplomatic corps as well as their respective Heads of State and Government.
For her part, the Dean of the diplomatic corps, and Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mrs Aya Saad Mohamad Abdelkarim, stated that Mauritius has repeatedly demonstrated that a small island can still possess an impressive and fully capable diplomatic force. She commended the country’s effort regarding the historical accomplishment in the Chagos Archipelago case. From defending territorial rights to expanding economic partnerships, she said, Mauritius has managed to reach several vital agreements.
On this score, she spoke of the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with China and the deepening of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement for increased investments and enhanced trade. She mentioned the EU’s recent decision of Mauritius compliance with EU tax good governance principles and lauded the country’s 13th ranking out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
Furthermore, the Ambassador expressed satisfaction as regards the strong bilateral and fraternal relations which exist between Egypt and Mauritius. She seized the opportunity to extend her warm wishes for the coming year with new routes and horizons to navigate challenges for the benefits of the peoples.
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