India to give offshore vessel to Mauritius

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Port Louis (Mauritius) July 3 (ANI): In a bid to further strengthen their diplomatic ties, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mauritius to provide it one offshore patrol vessel.

The agreement was the part of the Government of India's commitment to assist Mauritius conduct effective surveillance.

From Indian side, the Indian Ambassador to Mauritius M. Ganapati and Permanent secretary of Prime Minister Office Mrs. Fong Weng Poorun signed the agreement in the presence of Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and Mauritius Prime Minister Novinchandra Ramgoolam.

The Vessel cost 58. 5 million US dollars and India will provide 10 million dollars as grant while rest of the amount would be given as line of credit, said sources.

The geographical location of Mauritius makes it strategically important for the Indian Navy, as a 'friendly port' in the South West Indian Ocean.

Under an Agreement concluded in 1974, Indian defence officers (from the Indian Navy and IAF) are sent on deputation to the National Coast Guard and the Helicopter Squadron of the Mauritian Police Force.

Under the ITEC-II programme, about 30 to 45 personnel from the Mauritian Police Force are trained annually in Indian Defence Training Establishments.

Krishna arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to Mauritius and Mozambique. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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