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Lauding the partnership between the two nations, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra has said that Mauritius is a very important component and segment of the priorities under India’s neighbourhood policy.

In a special briefing on President Droupadi Murmu’s visit to Mauritius on Wednesday, Kwatra said that centuries-old people-to-people ties and continued cultural interaction form a very strong basis. “To recapture an essence of strength and substance in India-Mauritius ties, our relationship with Mauritius is special and historically unique. Getting back to pre-independence years, centuries-old people-to-people ties, and continued cultural interaction forms a very strong basis and foundation of this very special relationship,” Kwatra said.

“Mauritius is a very important component and segment of our priorities under India’s neighbourhood policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR, as also India’s priority focus on Africa,” he added.

Kwatra noted that there are regular, high-level political engagements also that take place between the leaders of India and Mauritius.

He said, “So, Mauritius in a sense lies at the convergence of these three major policy pillars that the government of India follows. There are also very regular, frequent, and intense high-level political engagements between the leaders of the countries– Our Prime Minister (PM Modi) and Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth have interacted five times just in the last six months.”

“And key manifestations of the privileged and special relationship that India has with Mauritius was captured in Mauritius’ participation as one of the guest countries under India’s G20 Presidency,” Kwatra noted, as he described it as a “special relationship” that India and Mauritius enjoy.

The Foreign Secretary, as he spoke at length on President Murmu’s recent participation in Mauritius’ National Day celebrations also stated that the visit reflects the growing expanse of long-standing and trusted partnership between India and Mauritius.

“The visit of the honourable President to Mauritius reflects the growing expanse of a long-standing and trusted partnership between India and Mauritius. The visit reinforces the continuing positive momentum and trends in our relationship, and it also signals our shared and strong commitment to further intensify our relations with this important partner,” he said.

President Murmu, who is on a three-day state visit to Mauritius, arrived in Mauritius on Monday. PM Pravind Jugnauth welcomed President Murmu at the airport with full honours.

She earlier announced that India has approved a special provision to grant an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card to the 7th generation of Indian-origin people in Mauritius. The decision would allow the younger Mauritians of Indian origin to become overseas citizens of India and reconnect with the land of their ancestors.

She paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi while remembering the special significance of the date (March 12) for the two nations. Notably, Mahatma Gandhi started the famous salt march from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on March 12, 1930.

Earlier in the day, President Murmu was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Mauritius on Tuesday in recognition of the profound depth of the bilateral relationship between the two nations.