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Volume 704: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have had discussions with the Government of Mauritius about the transfer of sovereignty over certain islands in the British Indian Ocean Territory. [HL5117]

There have not been any recent meetings between the Government and the Mauritius Government on the issue of sovereignty of the British Indian Ocean Territory. However, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, did raise the issue with my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala last November.

The Government have no doubt about their sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory. Successive Governments have, however, given undertakings to the Government of Mauritius that the territory will be ceded when no longer required for defence purposes, subject to the requirements of international law.