‘So much potential’: Jaishankar preps for 3-nation South America tour, meets envoys

Published on Aug 19, 2022 09:32 PM IST

Ahead of his South America visit, External affairs minister SJaishankar on Friday met envoys of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay

External affairs minister S Jaishankar is expected to begin the visit in Brazil where he will co-chair a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with his counterpart (HT File Photo)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar is expected to begin the visit in Brazil where he will co-chair a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with his counterpart (HT File Photo)

NEW DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar will visit Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina during August 22-27 to open a new mission, chair several crucial bilateral meetings and boost trade, investment and cooperation in key areas.

This will be Jaishankar’s first visit to South America. Ahead of the trip, he met the envoys of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay in New Delhi on Friday.

“So much potential for growing our cooperation. Encourage their efforts to realising it fully. Thanked them for their perspectives and insights as I head to the region tonight,” he tweeted.

In Paraguay on the second leg of his visit, Jaishankar will formally inaugurate the new Indian embassy in the capital city of Asunción that started functioning in January. This will be the first visit by an Indian foreign minister to the country.

India approved the opening of the mission in Paraguay in late 2020 as part of efforts to improve the country’s diplomatic representation in Africa and South America. Earlier, relations with Paraguay were overseen by the mission in Argentina.

Jaishankar is expected to begin the visit in Brazil, where he will co-chair a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with his counterpart and deliver an address at the Rio Branco Institute or Brazil’s diplomatic academy.

He will also co-chair a meeting of the bilateral joint commission in Argentina. The joint commissions will review the range of bilateral relations in diverse fields and discuss regional and global issues. Both Brazil and Argentina are strategic partners of India.

In addition to bilateral engagements with his counterparts, Jaishankar will meet the top leadership in all three countries. He will also interact with business leaders and the Indian community in all these countries.

Jaishankar’s visit to the three countries will be an opportunity to continue ongoing high-level engagements with India’s partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, explore new areas of cooperation in the post-pandemic era and exchange views on issues of bilateral and international significance, the external affairs ministry said.

The issue of Argentina joining the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping is expected to come up in Jaishankar’s discussions in Buenos Aires, people familiar with the matter said. Both Iran and Argentina have expressed interest in joining the grouping, though India is proceeding cautiously in the matter as it wants to avoid Brics being turned into a China-centric organisation.

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