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Airstrip on Mauritius' Agalega Island to Strengthen Delhi's Position in Indian Ocean

© AFP 2023 LAURA MOROSOLIThis September 25, 2021 picture shows the deserted beach of Blue Bay in south-east Mauritius.
This September 25, 2021 picture shows the deserted beach of Blue Bay in south-east Mauritius. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.03.2024
Terming the development as a symbol of the exemplary partnership between the two nations, Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for giving a new dimension to the bilateral relationship.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Jugnauth have jointly inaugurated an airstrip and jetty that India has developed in the western Indian Ocean, along with some other community development initiatives.
The upgraded airstrip and jetty in Agalega island in the western Indian Ocean are key strategic projects that can help India expand its reach in the region and enhance its coverage of the waters off the east coast of Africa, one security expert explained.
Discussing its importance with Sputnik India, defense expert Captain (retd) Alok Bansal said the airstrip is located far north of Mauritius near the center of the Indian Ocean and as skies are secured with the facility, the navy too would be strengthened accordingly, he felt.
The naval base built by India in Minicoy is also very important, said the expert.

"The place where it is built is strategically important as very few people live (there) ... it is a thin island, its area is about 24 square kilometers. Due to its location, it is suitable for the Indian Armed Forces. This can be very beneficial,” Bansal added.

"Ships and aircraft can come to India for maintenance but operations like deployment and refueling can be done from this airstrip, and after the deployment here, you can imagine how much the country's reach will increase. And here the aircraft can take off and go much further," said the defense expert.

Delhi argues that Mauritius is a key partner of its ‘Neighborhood First Policy’, claiming that the two countries have a vibrant, strong, and unique partnership.
The tanker Sun Arrows loads its cargo of liquefied natural gas from the Sakhalin-2 project in the port of Prigorodnoye, Russia, on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.03.2024
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