Port Louis: Lauding India`s role in combating
piracy on high seas, Mauritian Premier Navinchandra Ramgoolam
has said the two countries should continue to work together in
responding to maritime security threats and ensuring safety of
their sea lanes, the arteries of their trade with the world.
In his speech at a banquet hosted in honour of visiting
President Pratibha Patil, Ramgoolam recalled his visit to
India in 2005 after which New Delhi had responded to Mauritian
request for assistance in building its maritime security
"Only a few days ago I launched a state-of-the-art
coastal surveillance system," he said. "Indeed, India
continues to play a key role in strengthening our security and
in helping us to combat piracy."
Since April 2009, with the assistance of the Indian
Navy, a marine commando force comprising 21 commandos has been
set up to combat piracy in the high seas, he said.
Simultaneously, the Indian government has been deploying
on a six-monthly basis, naval ships to Mauritius for the joint
surveillance of our Exclusive Economic Zone with a view to
combating piracy, illegal fishing and to reinforce maritime
security in the region, Ramgoolam said.
"India and Mauritius have a shared interest in the
stability of the Indian Ocean and I`m confident that we shall
continue to work together in responding to security threats at
sea and ensuring the safety of our sea lanes, the arteries of
our trade with the outside world," he said.
He also said that Indian naval vessels have conducted
several hydrographic surveys for Mauritius free of charge,
thereby enabling this country to revise its antiquated
nautical charts and to create new ones.
"The production of these bathymetric charts proved vital
for the preparation of our submission to the United Nations
for the extension of our Continental Shelf. This submission
has now been unanimously approved by the United Nations
Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf," he said.
The speech of the Mauritian Prime Minister came in the
backdrop of President Patil`s announcement that both the
countries were committed to jointly fighting piracy and
enhancing security in the Indian Ocean, through mutually