President begins visit to three Latin American countries

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (UNI) Seeking to infuse a new warmth in India's relations with Latin American countries, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today embarked on a 14-day official trip to Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

This will be the maiden official visit of India's first woman President.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his cabinet colleagues and Chiefs of the Armed Forces saw her off at the airport.

The Brazil leg of the visit will be from April 13 to 16 during which she is slated to visit Sau Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Ms Patil will be in Mexico from April 16 to 20 where she will travel to Mexico City and Guadalajara.

On the last leg of the visit, she will travel to Santiago, the capital of Chile, from April 20 to 23.

Besides Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Chile are considered to be the most important countries of Latin America. The President's visit is being viewed as important in view of India's healthy trade relations with these countries.

The visit also assumes significance against the backdrop of India's quest for a permanent seat in the expanded Security Council.

During her visit, India is likely to sign at least two bilateral agreements with each of the three countries.

The President will return on April 25.

UNI SKS KD KP1814

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