EAM briefs Consultative Committee on Latin America

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New Delhi, Jun 20 (UNI) The Consultative Committee attached to the External Affairs Ministry at a meeting here today noted that India's relations with Latin America had not grown as fast as they should have.

The meeting, which was briefed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, expressed satisfaction that during the last few years new substance had been added to the relations between the two sides, Ministry's spokesman Navtej Sarna said.

The External Affairs Minister told the meeting that the important aspect of India's growing relations with Latin America was the new political climate in the region coupled with the pattern of democratic governments in many countries.

He said both had ''commonalities and objectives of inclusive growth through democratic system.'' Highlighting the high-level of political engagements between India and the countries of the region, Mr Mukherjee told the meeting that Brazilian President Lula da'Silva would visit India in October to attend the third India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit.

Also, the visits of the Presidents of Colombia, Argentina and Chile were in the pipeline, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman told reporters.

''The significant aspect of the relations between the two sides is the presence of a substantial number of Indian diaspora in many countries of the region,'' he said.

There was a very broad consensus on the direction of the relations between India and Latin America.

There are 17 Missions of Latin American countries in India and 13 Indian Missions in many Latin American countries. Guatemala is expected to open its Mission in New Delhi.

UNI RB HS KN1913

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