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Mauritius looks at India in combating piracy in high seas

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, April 27, IRNA -- Appreciating India's role in helping Mauritius in combating piracy at high seas, Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam has said that the two countries would work together in responding to security threats at sea.

In his banquet speech hosted in honor of 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 capacities.

'Only a few days ago I launched a state-of-the-art coastal surveillance system,' Ramgoolam said, adding 'indeed, India continues to play a key role in strengthening our security and in helping us to combat piracy,' pti reported.

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-month basis, Indian 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 informed that Indian naval vessels have conducted several hydrographic surveys for Mauritius free of charge, thereby 'enabling us to revise our 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 PM came in the backdrop of President Patil announcing that both countries were committed to jointly fight piracy and enhance security in the Indian Ocean, through mutually agreed measures.

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