PORT LOUIS, March 11 – Mauritius has stated support for the nomination of Malaysia as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2015-2016. This was stated by Mauritius Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam to Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed who visited his office here on Monday.
Mustapa, who represented Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in the three-day visit to Mauritius, told Malaysian journalists here that Ramgoolam had also said he would lobby several other countries, including those in Europe, to support Malaysia’s nomination.
“We thank the Mauritius Prime Minister for supporting Malaysia’s nomination which we appreciate highly,” he said, adding that Malaysia hoped the support would also be made in written form. Mustapa, who arrived Monday morning, said he was asked to represent Najib who had to put off the trip due to the incident involving the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 aircraft with 227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, on Saturday.
Malaysia, which is lobbying support as a non-permanent member, has already received the support of nations in Asean, Asia Pacific and now continues to seek support from other countries, especially in Africa, Europe and Latin America. Under the original schedule, Najib was invited to visit Mauritius for three days for the 46th anniversary of its independence tomorrow (Tuesday), but Najib had personally contacted Ramgoolam to put the visit off due to the missing aircraft incident.
“This visit is very important and an honour to Malaysia. The prime minister was invited to attend the 46th anniversary. It is a special invitation. Mauritius has made preparation for Najib’s visit here and several areas in a number of towns in Mauritius have been decorated with Malaysian and Mauritian flags,” said Mustapa.
In the meeting today, he said Ramgoolam who understood Najib’s decision, had expressed sadness at the incident and prayed the search and rescue operation would be successful. He expressed sympathy to Malaysians and the passengers of the missing Flight MH370.
During the meeting, Mustapa said he and Ramgoolam also discussed the proposal of the Mauritius Government to set up a cooperation centre here, with the Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology. “They find Malaysia’s experience extremely useful and this is still under discusssion between the two parties,” he said.
Mustapa and Ramgoolam also discussed efforts to boost cooperation in commerce and investment. Tomorrow, a business forum organised by Matrade, participated by 100 entrepreneurs from Mauritius and Malaysia, will become an important platform in efforts to promote Malaysia and expose business opportunites here.
The Malaysian minister said Malaysia wanted to boost bilateral trade which was US$93 million last year. Malaysia exported mostly foodstuff, specifically biscuits, palm oil and electronic goods to Mauritius. “Mauritius is an African nation located in a strategic area, connecting Africa and Asia. It is close to Madagascar which is experiencing prolific growth, has close ties with India and is closely connected to Kuala Lumpur via a twice-weekly flight,” he said.