Port Louis, Aug 17 (PTI) Mauritius announced today that as a mark of respect to India's former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee the national flags of both the countries will fly half mast at all government buildings.
The announcement was made in an official release issued by the Mauritian Prime Minister's Office. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar shared a copy of the release on Twitter.
Vajpayee died yesterday at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Delhi following prolonged illness. He was 93.
In a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth condoled Vajpayee's death and paid a tribute to the departed leader.
He said he was pained by Vajpayee's demise and felt a sense of personal loss.
"I express my deepest condolences to Vajpayee's family," the Mauritian leader said.
Jugnauth said Vajpayee shaped India's future through his bold leadership and deep-rooted sympathy for the common man.
"Today, as India shines as a beacon of progress and development on the global stage, we cannot forget the strong and able stewardship of Shri Vajpayee. His leadership was characterised by determination, perseverance, fairness and equity," he said.
Vajpayee will always be a guiding light not only for politicians in India, but for those across the world, he added.
The Mauritian leader said Vajpayee's deep affection for people of Mauritius became clear when he visited the country in March 2000 as the chief guest for the National Day celebrations.
Jugnauth credited the former prime minister with taking the relations between India and Mauritius to new heights under his leadership.
He said Vajpayee's proficiency in Hindi, which was evident in his speeches and poems, will be remembered when Mauritius hosts the 11th World Hindi Conference.
Vajpayee strongly believed in the power of Hindi as a symbol of unity, a means of binding history, common values and common cultures, Jugnauth added.
The World Hindi Conference will be held at Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Mauritius. The three-day conference will commence on August 18 and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to arrive here by tomorrow morning.
The conference will be inaugurated by Jugnauth and chaired over by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
The main hall and other rooms at the venue have been named after Hindi authors like Abhimanyu Unnuth, Gopaldas Neeraj, Bhanumati Nagdan and Suraj Prasad Mangar Bhagat. PTI NP DIV