New Delhi: India and Mauritius, the strategically located Indian Ocean island nation on January 4 decided to intensify counter-piracy cooperation and explored ways to scale up bilateral trade and investment. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid called on visiting Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag and discussed a host of bilateral issues. Purryag, who is of Indian origin, on January 3 began a week-long visit to India.
In his discussions, Khurshid voiced India's keen interest in enhancing bonds with the Indian Ocean littoral through the interface of the Indian Ocean Rim for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). The two sides also exchanged views on an Indian proposal at the IOR-ARC for Indian Ocean University, said official sources. They also explored new areas of cooperation, including anti-piracy measures in the Indian Ocean.
Mauritius has established a court to try pirates. India has stepped up patrolling in the area and is committed to freeing from captivity more than 30 Indian citizens in the custody of pirates. Mauritius reiterated its support for India's claim for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Mauritius also indicated it was ready to consider the possibility of sharing tax-related information.
Mauritius is the single-largest foreign direct investment (FDI) source for India, accounting for over 42 per cent of foreign equity flows into the country.
The Mauritius president will be the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi in Kerala from Jan 7-9. He will also visit Patna, Tirupati and Kochi. In Bihar, he will visit his ancestral village, Bojeetpore near Patna. Persons of Indian origin account for over 60 per cent of the 1.3-million people in Mauritius.