Monday, June 15, 2009

Mauritius Expresses Commitment to the COMESA Customs Union

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr. Arvin Boolell, reiterated the political commitment of Mauritius to the formation of the COMESA Customs Union.

Dr. Boolell made this statement at the COMESA Summit of Heads of States and Governments, which was held on 7-8 June 2009, in Zimbabwe. He recalled that the Customs Union is an important cornerstone, especially in the wake of the global economic recession.

With regard to the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia and in parts of the Indian Ocean region, the Minister said that piracy is an act of pure terrorism and it should be addressed in a holistic manner. These pirates’ attacks may destabilize not only the peace and security in our region but will have serious adverse consequences on small and vulnerable economies which depend significantly on tourism and on fishing, he cautioned.

Mauritius and Seychelles are among the countries which are under threat due to the fact that most of their imports transit from this shipping route. “This is why we are appealing to our regional organisations and partners so that we give particular attention to this urgent and pressing matter", the Minister said.

He reiterated the wish for a return of constitutional order in Madagascar and for an early normalisation of the political situation.

The Minister further expressed the wish for Mauritius to host the COMESA Fund.

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