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British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 147924, tabled on 2 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the ruling from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea which confirmed that the Chagos archipelago and surrounding waters fall within the sovereignty of Mauritius; and what assessment he has made of the implications of that ruling for the US airbase lease.

Answered on

10 February 2021

The Foreign Secretary has not had any discussions on the ITLOS ruling with his US or Mauritian counterparts. The UK is not a party to these proceedings, which can have no effect for the UK or for maritime delimitation between the UK (in respect of the British Indian Ocean Territory) and the Republic of the Maldives.

We remain open to dialogue with Mauritius on matters of shared interest, including BIOT and its Marine Protected Area (MPA), and we have ongoing discussions with the US on a range of issues including BIOT.