Prime Minister Narendra Modi, apparently hinting at China's expansionist agenda, called for mutual security and growth in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and said Mauritius is at the heart of India's approach in the region. He said this during the inauguration of the new Supreme Court building of Mauritius through video conferencing on Thursday. He also congratulated Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and the country's people for effective COVID-19 pandemic management. "I am happy that India was able to support this effort through timely supplies of medicines and sharing of experiences," the PM said.
He said the inauguration day marked another landmark in the special friendship between India and Mauritius. "The new Supreme Court Building in Port Louis is a symbol of our cooperation and our shared values," the PM said. He said both the countries respect their independent judiciaries as important pillars of our democratic systems. "This impressive new building, with its modern design and construction, is a mark of this respect," he added.
The PM also expressed happiness over the progress made in the recently inaugurated landmark Metro project and a new state-of-the-art hospital in the country. Talking about India's vision of 'SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region', the PM said Mauritius was at the heart of India's approach to the Indian Ocean region. "History has taught us that in the name of development partnerships, nations were forced into dependence partnerships. It gave rise to colonial and imperial rule. It gave rise to global power blocks," said the PM.
The PM said India is making development partnerships that are marked by "Respect; Diversity; Care for the future and Sustainable development". "For India, the most fundamental principle in development cooperation is respecting our partners. This sharing of development lessons is our only motivation. That is why our development cooperation does not come with any conditions" PM Modi said.
If India is honoured to help in the Parliament building in Afghanistan, it is also proud to be associated in the making of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Niger, he said. He added that India not only shares the waters of the Indian Ocean with Mauritius but also a common heritage of kinship, culture and language. Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth also thanked the PM for India's support, in a message in Hindi: "Shri Modi ji, hamara desh, hamari janta aapke samarthan ke liye abhari hai. (Mr Modiji, our country and our citizen are thankful for your support)."
The PM's remarks on the Indian Ocean Region could be viewed against China's actions in the region. The country, in the recent past, has been involved in exploration and anti-piracy activities in the region. Moreover, it's also involved in various maritime projects with countries like Shri Lanka, Nepal and Mauritius. Its unfounded claim on the South China Sea has also irked many nations including the United States and Japan.