Lagos, Nigeria - The US government has sent a message of congratulations to the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius, which celebrates 45 years of independence on 12 March, according to a press statement, received here by PANA Monday, from the office of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
'On behalf of the American people, I send best wishes to the people of Mauritius as they celebrate 45 years of independence on March 12. This day is a well-deserved opportunity for Mauritians to commemorate their heritage of democracy, religious tolerance, and rule of law,' Kerry said in the statement.
It quoted Kerry as saying that the US and Mauritius shared a long history of friendly and productive relations.
'The United States welcomes Mauritius’ recent efforts in support of maritime security in the Indian Ocean. We look forward to the continued economic cooperation rooted in the principles of fair competition and transparent business practices. We trust that Mauritius will continue to stand as an example of progress.' he added.
Originally colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century, Mauritius later came under French rule and then was captured by the British in 1810.
On 12 March, 1968, Mauritius achieved independence within the Commonwealth. It holds the record for the longest period spent as a Commonwealth Realm, 24 years, with it becoming a republic on 12 March, 1992.