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MoS Muraleedharan begins Caribbean tour next week

V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs (Image courtesy: Twitter/@MOS_MEA)

In a bid to further strengthen India's growing partnership with the Caribbean countries, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan will be visiting Guatemala, Jamaica and the Bahamas starting next week.

During the July 5-10 trip, the MoS will call on the top leadership and also hold meetings with his counterparts in these countries.

Muraleedharan begins his tour from Guatemala on Monday, following up on the visit of Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu in May 2018. He will also meet the Guatemalan Minister of Economy and interact with the business community, including the Heads of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Guatemala. The bilateral trade between both the countries currently stands at US$ 309.86 million. The MoS will also interact with the Indian community in Guatemala.  

The Central American country is the current Pro-tempore President of the Central American Integration system (SICA) with which India has an established engagement mechanism.

The MoS then travels to Jamaica on July 7 which will be the first visit by an Indian minister to the country in the last four years. In addition to his official engagements, he will also inaugurate the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at May Pen city and visit the Old Harbour Bay where the first Indians landed in Jamaica, 175 years ago. He will also interact with a wide cross-section of the Jamaican society comprising business leaders and Indian community members.

The visit of MoS to The Bahamas (July 9-10) will be the first standalone high level visit from India to the Caribbean island. In addition to his official meetings, MoS will interact with the Bahamian society comprising of business leaders and Indian community members.

India’s relations with Jamaica and Bahamas have been cordial and based on democracy, membership of the commonwealth, English language and cultural heritage. They also support each other’s candidatures at various multilateral fora.

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday that the visit of MoS will provide an opportunity for reviewing the progress in bilateral ties and further strengthening of multifaceted relationship with all the three countries, including in SICA and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).