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MoS Meenakshi Lekhi to visit Panama, Honduras, Chile

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New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi will be on an official visit to Panama, Honduras and Chile from April 28 to May 5, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday.

This will be her first visit to these countries. Earlier she had visited Colombia in September last year.

“During her visit to Panama from 28 April-1 May 2022, MoS will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Erika Mouynes and Minister of Culture, H Giselle Gonzalez Villarue. The two sides will also sign agreements on Cultural Exchange Programme and Gainful Employment for dependents of officials of diplomatic mission/post,” the MEA said in a statement.

The visit will provide an opportunity to review progress in the bilateral relations between the two countries since the visit of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to Panama in May 2018.

As per MEA, Lekhi will visit Honduras from May 1 to May 3, where she will call on the President of Honduras, Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento. She will also meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Honduras, Ambassador Eduardo Enrique Reina to discuss various bilateral, regional and international issues.

The Minister of State will also lay the foundation stone for the Jamastran Valley Irrigation project funded by the Government of India through Lines of Credit.

She will visit the IT Center National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) which was set up in 2008 with Government of India’s assistance and currently has trained more than 20,000 students. In Santiago, Lekhi will meet with Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola Noguera and the Chilean Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage, Julieta Brodsky Hernandez.

India-Chile total trade for the year 2021-22 was USD 2.35 billion, as compared to USD 1.47 billion in 2020-21.

The visit will add fresh momentum to India-Chile relations under the new government of President Gabriel Boric Font.

“MOS will address and interact with the Indian diaspora and participate in curtain-raiser events for IDY 2022 and celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in all the three countries. With about 15,000 Persons of Indian Origin, Panama is home to the largest Indian diaspora in Latin America,” the MEA statement reads. (ANI)

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