Mauritius wants to lease Diego Garcia Island to U.S.

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Port Louis, Nov. 9, 2020 (PANA/Naija247news) Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, on Sunday renewed Mauritius’ proposal for a long-term lease of Diego Garcia as a military base by the United States.

In a message of congratulations to U.S. president-elect, Joe Biden, Mr Jugnauth said “such an arrangement would be in line with the common vision and principles of our two countries with regard to the rule of law and the historic support of the United States for decolonization”.

Diego Garcia is an island, presently used as a military base, that forms part of the Chagos archipelago, leased to the U.S. by the British government in the 1960s, prior to the independence of Mauritius in March 1968.

A few thousand people, the Chagossians, who lived on the archipelago for decades, were exiled by force to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

These people, many of whom have died, are still struggling to return to their home island while Mauritius has taken Britain to the International Court of Justice in The Hague claiming its sovereignty over the archipelago.

Mr. Jugnauth also said he wished to strengthen the partnership between Mauritius and the United States in terms of economic development and security.

He said bilateral ties between the two countries date back to 1794 when President George Washington appointed the very first United States consul in Mauritius.

Mr. Jugnauth underlined that these links have developed over time in strong cooperation, driven by common values ​​of democracy, respect for human rights, good governance and the rule of law.

The Prime Minister also said he is confident that under Mr. Biden’s leadership, multilateralism will find new impetus and new vitality to confront international challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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