PANAMA CITY: Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi, MOS(ML) will be on an official visit to Panama, Honduras and Chile from 28 April – 05 May 2022. This will be her first visit to these countries. Earlier MOS (ML) had visited Colombia in September 2021.
During her visit to Panama from 28 April – 01 May 2022, MOS (ML) will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, H.E. Ms. Erika Mouynes and Minister of Culture, H.E. Ms. 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 visit would provide an opportunity to review progress in our bilateral relations since the visit of Hon’ble Vice President, Shri Venkaiah Naidu to Panama in May 2018.
MOS (ML) will visit Honduras from 01 – 03 May 2022, where she will call on the President of Honduras, H.E. Ms. Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento. She will also meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Honduras, H. E. Amb. Eduardo Enrique Reina to discuss various bilateral, regional and international issues. MOS (ML) will also lay the foundation stone for the Jamastran Valley Irrigation project funded by GoI through Lines of Credit. She will visit the IT Center National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) which was set up in 2008 with GOI’s assistance and currently has trained more than 20,000 students.
In Santiago, MOS will meet with Chilean Foreign Minister H.E. Ms. Antonia Urrejola Noguera and Chilean Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage, H. E. Ms. Julieta Brodsky Hernandez. Chile is the 5th trading partner of India in the LAC region. India-Chile total trade for the year 2021-22 was USD 2.35 bn, as compared to USD 1.47 bn 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 15000 Persons of Indian Origin, Panama is home to the largest Indian diaspora in Latin America.