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Mauritius And The United Kingdom Have Held Six Rounds Of Negotiation With Regards To The Chagos Archipelago

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In the parliament yesterday, MP Navarre-Marie and MP Nando Bodha wanted to know more about the negotiations initiated with the United Kingdom on the exercise of sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago.

Here is a summary of the reply of Prime minister Jugnauth:

Since 3 November 2022, Mauritius and the United Kingdom have held six rounds of negotiations on 23 and 24 November 2022, 11 and 12 January 2023, 23 and 24 February 2023, 2 and 3 June 2023, 31 July and 1 August 2023, and 26 and 27 September 2023. Another round of negotiations will be held shortly.

The negotiations are between Mauritius and the United Kingdom, and not between Mauritius and the United States. Since Mauritius and the United Kingdom recognize the United States’ and India’s interests, they have agreed to keep them informed of progress in the negotiations.

As for the United Kingdom’s membership of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the Commission decided at its last meeting in May 2023 that the United Kingdom will have to clarify the criteria in respect of which it claims to be a member of the organization before the end of this year.

It is crystal clear that under international law, the Chagos Archipelago forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius.

Through negotiations, considering relevant legal pronouncements, it is the intention of Mauritius and the United Kingdom to secure an agreement based on international law to resolve all outstanding issues, including those relating to the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago.

Mauritius and the United Kingdom have reiterated that any agreement between the two countries will ensure the continued effective operation of the joint UK/US military base in Diego Garcia.

PM stated that, in this regard, when he met Honourable Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in New Delhi in the margins of the last G20 Summit, he briefed him on the status of the ongoing negotiations with the United Kingdom. This issue was also raised during the meeting which he had with Honourable Richard Verma, US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, last month in New York in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Pm has also been able to brief the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the status of our negotiations, given the crucial role played by Africa in our démarche.

The discussions between Mauritius and the United Kingdom have covered issues relating to the exercise of sovereignty by Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago whilst ensuring the continued effective operation of the joint UK/US military base on Diego Garcia; resettlement of the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago; strengthening our cooperation on a range of issues such as environmental and marine protection, improving security and tackling illegal activities in the region, amongst others. The negotiations are being held at the level of Senior Officals alternately in London and Port Louis and in New York for practical reasons. The Senior Officials on both sides report to me and the UK Prime Minister respectively. I have personally been in touch with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on this matter.

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