Foreign Office says UK does not recognise Mauritius’ claim over Chagos islands

The UK does not recognise Mauritius’ claim over the Chagos islands and expresses disappointed that the matter was referred to the International Court of Justice and the UN General Assembly.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman was asked by CNA to comment on Wednesday’s non-binding resolution, that was adopted with majority, asking Britain to withdraw its colonial administration from the Chagos islands within six months. She spoke of wide-reaching implications for all UN member states, after circumventing the basic principle that the ICJ should not consider bilateral sovereignty disputes without the consent of both states.

According to the Foreign Office spokeswomanthe joint UK � US defence facility on the British Indian Ocean Territory helps to keep people in Britain and around the world safe from terrorism, organised crime and piracy. As the US government has made clear, the status of BIOT as a UK territory is essential to the value of the joint facility and our shared interests � an arrangement that cannot be replicated.

BIOT, as the UK calls the overseas territory has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814 the spokeswoman went on, adding that Mauritius has never held sovereignty over it and we do not recognise its claim.

We have however made a long-standing commitment since 1965 to cede sovereignty of the territory to Mauritius when it is no longer required for defence purposes. We stand by that commitment she added.

According to the Foreign Office, the UK remains disappointed that this matter was referred to the International Court of Justice and the UN General Assembly. The basic principle that the ICJ should not consider bilateral sovereignty disputes without the consent of both states concerned has been circumvented and this could have wide-reaching implications for all UN member states she concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency