The recent visit of Minister of Housing and Lands, Showkutally Soodhun, to Saudi Arabia has been commented by the country’s press. The Saudi Gazette reported that according to Soodhun, Mauritius is “extending lucrative investment facilities” to Saudi businessmen and is giving them feasible incentives. “We are giving Saudi investors free land plots along the sea shores to establish their businesses. We are also intent on removing any obstacles from their ways. There is a promising economic and tourist basic infrastructure awaiting the Saudi investors,” quoted the Saudi Gazette. Minister Soodhun said Mauritius has taken quantum leaps to diversify its sources of income and augment its national economy. “We have emerging sectors such as the financial services, communications and information technology. We depend on the international expertise along side our national cadres,” he said. On wearing the Saudi national dress during his meeting with Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, Showkutally Soodhun said this was an expression of love and appreciation for the land of the Two Holy Mosques. “Prince Muhammad has a clear strategic vision and an eloquent political thought. He is also keen on expanding the bilateral cooperation to serve the mutual interests of the two countries,” Soodhun reportedly said. Diplomatic relations with Iran The report in the Saudi Gazette signed by Faheem Al-Hamid, carries the title: “Mauritius backs Kingdom’s tough action against Iran.” According to the report, “The Kingdom’s decision to sever ties with Iran following attacks on its diplomatic missions in Tehran and other cities is a sovereign act aimed at preserving its security and stability, Vice-Prime Minister of Mauritius Showkutally Soodhun has said.” The website saudigazette.com.sa claims that “Soodhun is also minister of Housing and Islamic Affairs.” There is no such official ministry in Mauritius. Talking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette during his recent visit to the Kingdom, Soodhun said Saudi Arabia’s decisive action was aimed at stopping Iran’s intervention in the internal affairs of other countries and putting an end to its aggressive policies, the media outlet reported. “Iran is known for its intervention in the affairs of the Arab and Islamic countries. It does not respect the diplomatic norms nor the accepted behavior of good neighborliness,” the Minister is quoted as saying. “Soodhun said his country strongly denounces attacks on Kingdom’s diplomatic ad consular missions in Iran and will always back the Kingdom which is loves and respected by the people of Mauritius.” The journalist goes further to claims that: “He urged all the Arab and the GCC countries to stand firmly behind the Kingdom in all measures it has taken to silence Iran. The Decisive Storm was a clear message to Iran to review its expansionist and sectarian thought. […] All the measures the Kingdom has taken against terrorism and the terrorists are legitimate and necessary to safeguard its safety and stability.” The Saudi Gazette states that: “Soodhun also reiterated that there would be no place for Iran’s sectarian ideology in Mauritius which is strongly committed to tolerance and moderation.”
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