Britain and Mauritius discuss Chagos sovereignty

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Mauritius Premier Navin Ramgoolam told the Parliament on Tuesday that Great Britain has accepted to initiate top level discussions on the sovereignty of Chagos Archipelago.

Answering a question in parliamentary by opposition MP, Arianne Navarre-Marie, he said he discussed the issue with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the last Commonwealth summit.

“There has been, subsequently, exchange of correspondence and Great Britain proposed discussions at the level of ambassadors. We declined this offer,” he said. Chagos is an archipelago comprising 65 islands located north of Mauritius.

Mauritius Premier added that the terms of the top level discussions have not yet be agreed upon.

Chagos, which belonged to Mauritius, was cut off from the country and hundreds of its inhabitants transferred by force to the Seychelles between 1965 and 1970 by the British colonial government. The process started before the independence of Mauritius in 1968.

This was to make room for an American military base on one of the islands, Diego Garcia.

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