US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard R. Verma says that it was fantastic to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new U.S. embassy campus in Mauritius. “It is a historic moment that marks a new phase in support of the bilateral relationship and diplomacy between the United States and Mauritius.”
The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the United States (US) Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Mr Richard Rahul Verma, The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo, Vice-Prime Ministers, and several Ministers and dignitaries, as well as the US Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Henry Jardine.
Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the construction of a new US Chancery Building shows the high importance that Mauritius and the US attach to the longstanding 55 years of bilateral partnership. Mauritius, he emphasised is ever ready to step up its engagement with the US to amplify the scope of the relationship and consolidate its resilience.
Prime Minister underscored the US assistance in capacity building programmes on counter terrorism and piracy, forensic, seamanship and maritime law enforcement to improving maritime security in the region. He seized the opportunity to extend an invitation to the US for the Third Maritime Security Conference in the last quarter of this year, which will be hosted by Mauritius.
Pravind Jugnauth spoke of reviving the trade and investment framework signed in 2006 and expressed optimism for the timely renewal of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act which will define a robust US-Africa trade architecture. He also referred to the outcome of US-African Leaders Summit whereby the US pledged to commit $55 billion to Africa over the next three years.
The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to unlock trade, investment and Africa-US business partnership opportunities was highlighted by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also extended gratitude to the US and the COVAX Facility for the donation of some 400 000 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to help Mauritius fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US Deputy Secretary of State, during his remarks pointed out that the new US Embassy Campus shows the US’ commitment to elevating its engagement with Mauritius and to open a new chapter in the US – Mauritian relations. Mr Verma indicated that formal diplomatic relations with Mauritius started in 1968, which is the same year as the country’s independence.
“Our relations are rooted in our shared values as democracies with free and open societies”, he said, underlining that these values have to led cooperation in a wide range of shared priorities such as rule of law, regional security, environmental protection and efforts to combat climate crisis.
Mr Verma also spoke of exchange programmes with Mauritius through the Young African Leaders Initiatives which provides young people with new skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities.
As for the US Ambassador to Mauritius, he expressed appreciation to the Mauritian Government for the support provided with the New Embassy Campus. Referring to the longstanding relationship with Mauritius, Ambassador Jardine stated that the first US Consulate in Mauritius was established in 1794, adding that the new Embassy will enable to grow further the bilateral ties between both countries.
The US will invest around $300 million in the project which will comprise a state-of-the-art Chancery with latest practices adhering to sustainable norms to conserve natural resources.