[Opinion] One government, two directions
If some media have reported that Mauritius has joined the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and severed all ties with Qatar, this is simply not true.
The fact is that Vice Prime Minister and minister of Housing & Lands Showkutally Soodhun quickly issued a communique to please the Kingdom.
“I had a conversation with King Salman and he asked me to come to Saudi Arabia after Ramadan,” he told the Mauritian media without telling what the subject of the conversation was.
From what I can understand, the Vice Minister said:
The government of Mauritius has decided pending further developments in clearing the relationships of Qatar to the aforementioned issues, not to entertain any further relations with Qatar.
This decision by Minister Soodhun has taken aback the Mauritian population as well as some higher quarters of government.
Qatar has some key investments in the country, mainly in the field of education. An institution is even called Doha.
After this blunder, it has been decided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade should issue a communique to redress the situation.
The following is the statement released to the press in a very diplomatic manner which resembles like a sound slap:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius has taken cognizance of the recent political developments that have occurred in the Gulf region recently. The Ministry, pursuant to its stand of maintaining cordial relations with all countries of the Gulf region, favors dialogue between the countries involved in the interest of peace and stability in the region and in the world.
It should be recalled that this is not the first time that Minister Soodhun openly said he is supporting the Kingdom. We recall that he informed King Salman that Mauritius will be participating along 20 other countries in the “North Thunder” military drill. However, the Mauritian government has not agreed to it and has backpedaled.
Mauritius has recently opened an Embassy in Riyadh but is also a very close partner with India, who just lent the Indian Ocean nation US$ 18 billion.
In Mauritius, Muslims account for 17% of the population with Hindus being the majority of the 1,3 million inhabitants.
- The writer has chosen to remain anonymous