In a major outreach to the Indian Ocean island nation, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the National Assembly in Port Louis, Mauritius, on March 12, a defining speech that outlines a new phase of accelerated relations between the two countries. The prime minister’s visit has led to the firming up of an invigorated security partnership, which was signalled by the commissioning of MCGS Barracuda, a 1,300-tonne, Indian-built coastal patrol vessel that will underline India’s commitment on maritime security, particularly along the African coast that is being besieged by piracy. In his address to the Mauritian parliament, Mr Modi encapsulated myriad facets of this dynamic multi-faceted relationship:
Highlights of Prime Minister Modi’s speech at National Assembly at Port Louis, March 12:
- It is truly special to do so in the Assembly of a people with which we share the deepest bonds of history and culture; and, of a nation that we are proud to call a friend and a partner.
- To be here with you in this Assembly on your National Day is a blessed moment for me.
- On Independence Day, we not only celebrate liberty, but also remember the struggles and sacrifices that gave birth to freedom.
- Today is also a special day in the history of India`s freedom struggle. On this day, in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his Dandi March.
- Mauritius is a nation that has lived up to the words of its national anthem – one nation, one people, in peace, justice and liberty.
- It has gone from an agricultural economy to a middle income and diversified economy, tapping the opportunities in textile and tourism and now to offshore finance and information technology.
- We are partners in our economic progress. We shoulder our shared responsibility to advance security in the Indian Ocean. We speak in one voice in the cause of the developing world and the future of our planet.
- Over the last nine months, we in India have moved with a clear vision of inclusive development. We have acted with speed, resolve, innovation and boldness to increase economic growth; reform our economy and transform the lives of our people; and create opportunities for the most excluded youth, the remotest farmer and the farthest village.
- Prime Minister Vajpayee had supported the construction of the first cyber city in Mauritius in 2003. That became a symbol of our thriving economic partnership. I am pleased to announce our support for a second cyber city in Mauritius.
- While we are on the subject of information technology, the e-health project in Mauritius is a laudable initiative. And, we would be happy to support its development.
- We have set an ambitious target of 100 Gigawatts of solar energy and 60 Gigawatts of wind energy by 2022. We will seek to dramatically increase our energy efficiency, which is the cleanest form of energy.
- Mauritius has been a leading international voice on climate change, not just as an advocate for island states, but for the sake of our collective future. We look forward to working with you for a more resolute global action against climate change.
- As Mauritius seeks to make islands and waters safer; as you seek to secure your vast Exclusive Economic Zone, we will always be there for you.
- Later today, I will have the honour to commission the Barracuda into the service of your National Coast Guard.
- We seek a comprehensive partnership of closer security, economic, cultural, scientific and people-to-people ties in our region.
- I want to thank Mauritius for the strong support for United Nations Resolution declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. This resolution was passed by a record co-sponsorship in a record time frame.
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