The British Defence Secretary, Mr. Roy Mason, visited Mauritius recently to discuss the British Naval?
GV Government building
SV PAN Mr. Roy Mason greeted by Prime Minister and shakes hands with other Ministers
MV Both parties seated at conference table
SV Roy Mason and others seated (2 shots)
CU PAN Mauritius Prime Minister and other Ministers
GV Ministers seated
Initials BB/1740 AMN/DW/BB/1755
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Background: The British Defence Secretary, Mr. Roy Mason, visited Mauritius recently to discuss the British Naval Communications Base at Port Louis. After talks with Government leaders, including the Mauritian Prime Minister, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, it was decided that the base would be closed.
A joint communique from the Government and Mr. Mason said Britain's agreement with Mauritius on mutual defence and assistance would also end.
The base will close at the end of March next year. The closing is part of several cuts the British Government has made in the defence budget. Mr. Mason said this was part of moves to slash Britain's non-NATO commitments.
Meanwhile, Government sources in Mauritius have said that when the agreement with Britain ends, Mauritus might turn to India, France and the United States. They claimed France wanted to negotiate a defence treaty with Mauritius and had asked for some naval facilities there.