She will address and interact with the Indian diaspora in all the three countries

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi will be on an official visit to Panama, Honduras and Chile from April 28- May 5.

During the visit, she will meet leaders of the three countries and also interact with the Indian diaspora.

"The visit would provide an excellent opportunity to review progress in our bilateral relations," MoS Lekhi said on Twitter.

Announcing the visit, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said this will be her first visit to these countries. MoS Lekhi had visited Colombia in September 2021.

During her visit to Panama from April 28- May 1, she will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama Erika Mouynes and Minister of Culture Giselle Gonzalez Villarue.

According to the MEA, the two sides will 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 bilateral relations since the visit of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to Panama in May 2018, the MEA statement said.

MoS Lekhi will visit Honduras from May 1-3, 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, Amb. Eduardo Enrique Reina to discuss various bilateral, regional and international issues, the MEA further said.

MoS Lekhi will also lay the foundation stone for the Jamastran Valley Irrigation project funded by GoI through Lines of Credit, it added.

She will visit the IT Center National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) which was set up in 2008 with the Government of India's assistance and currently has trained more than 20,000 students.

In Santiago, she will meet with Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola Noguera and Chilean Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage, Julieta Brodsky Hernandez.

According to the MEA statement, Chile is the 5th trading partner of India in the Latin America and Caribbean 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, the MEA statement pointed out.

The Minister of State for External Affairs will address and interact with the Indian diaspora and participate in curtain raiser events for International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2022 and celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in all the three countries, the statement said.

With about 15000 Persons of Indian Origin, Panama is home to the largest Indian diaspora in Latin America.