British stamps banned from Chagos Islands in Indian Ocean.

Mauritius has moved a symbolic step closer to wresting control of the Chagos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, from the UK.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a UN agency in charge of the world's postal policies, voted to block the use of UK stamps from the remote archipelago.

All post from the Chagos Islands must now bear stamps from Mauritius.

The UK says it will not cede control until the islands are no longer needed for security purposes.

The US currently uses the largest of the islands - Diego Garcia - for a military air base on what the UK describes as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Three powerful UN bodies have already ruled that the archipelago, which has a population of about 3,000, is part of Britain's old empire and should be handed to Mauritius immediately.

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