The visit aims to strengthen India's engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean countries
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is embarking on his first official visit to four countries, namely Guyana, Panama, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic from April 21-29, according to information released the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday.

During his upcoming visit, he will be engaging with the top leadership of these nations, discussing various issues related to bilateral ties, and attending meetings of regional groups.

EAM Jaishankar will first visit Guyana from April 21-23 where he will have the opportunity to meet the leadership and interact with multiple ministers. He will be co-chairing the Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart Hugh Hilton Todd that will entail discussions on the whole gamut of issues between the two countries.

"EAM’s visit to Guyana would also be an opportunity for a meeting of Foreign Ministers in the India-COFCOR (Council on Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR); a group of 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM)) format and hold bilateral meetings with participating Ministers," the MEA said.

He will visit Panama from April 24-25 where he will be hosted by his Panamese counterpart Janaina Tewaney Mencomo. and attend the India-SICA Foreign Ministerial Meeting, where he will engage with representatives of the 8-country Central American Integration System.

Subsequently, he will also visit Colombia from April 25-27 which will mark the first Foreign Ministerial level visit to the country. While there, he will meet with top representatives of the Government, business, and civil society, and review bilateral ties with Columbian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva Duran.

Lastly, he will visit the Dominican Republic from April 27-29. This is the highest level visit from India since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1999, the MEA pointed out. EAM Jaishankar's visit takes place after the establishment of India's resident Embassy in Santo Domingo in 2022.

Apart from calling on the country’s political leadership, EAM Jaishankar will be holding discussions with Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez. The two leaders would also formally inaugurate the Indian resident mission. EAM Jaishankar is also expected to deliver a talk at the Dominican Republic Foreign Ministry.

"A business delegation from India, led by CII will be joining EAM at business events that are planned during the course of the visit. These meetings underline the growing interest on both sides for stronger trade ties," the MEA said. Additionally, EAM Jaishankar will also be meeting members of the Indian community in all four countries.

According to the MEA, EAM Jaishankar’s visit to these four countries and his bilateral engagements as well as interactions with counterparts of important regional groups like CARICOM and SICA adds to the momentum of the India-Latin America and the Caribbean engagements.

"It will provide an opportunity to continue high level contacts with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and explore new areas of cooperation in a whole host of areas; particularly in the post pandemic scenario," the MEA noted.