Pope Francis has asked Britain to obey a UN resolution and return to Mauritius a disputed Indian Ocean archipelago that hosts the US military base at Diego Garcia.
The Pope made the remarks in response to a question regarding the Chargos Islands while on board the flight back to the Vatican.
“When countries give international organisations such as the United Nations or international tribunals the right to adjudicate disputes, those decisions must be respected,” said the Pope.
“It’s not always things that seem ‘just’ for all of humanity are ‘just’ for our pockets. But you must obey international institutions,” he added.
The UN General Assembly earlier this year voted overwhelmingly to demand that Britain which held onto the Chagos Islands after giving Mauritius independence in 1968, end its colonial administration and return Chagos Islands to Mauritius.
The vote was taken after the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion in February saying that Britain illegally carved up Mauritius when it kept Chagos.
Britain which calls the archipelago a “British Indian Territory” has refused to abide by both non binding decisions.
Britain evicted about 2000 people from the Chagos Islands in the 1960s and 1970s so the US military could build the Diego Garcia airbase