NEW YORK: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is continuing a series of bilateral engagements here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, will leave for Mexico on Sunday at the invitation of his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón.
He will be paying an official visit to Mexico from September 26-28, his first visit to the North American country as the External Affairs Minister, during which he will participate in the commemorative events of the 200th anniversary of the consolidation of Mexican Independence along with other world leaders, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
In addition to his meeting with Casaubón, he will also call on President of Mexico Manuel López Obrador and interact with the leading CEOs and the business community in Mexico, which is currently India's second largest trade partner in Latin America and is a member of the UNSC alongside India for the 2021-22 period.
Ahead of his departure for Mexico, Jaishankar continued his bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of various nations on the sidelines of the high-level 76th session of the UN General Assembly, which is now drawing down.
He met Nepal's new Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka and agreed that “we should work together closely to take our special relationship forward,” Jaishankar said in a tweet on Sunday.
“Pleased to welcome my new Nepali colleague” Khadka, he said.
Early last week, Jaishankar had congratulated Khadka, who has been appointed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on the recommendation of the government led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
“Discussed bilateral ties with FM Dr Faisal Mekdad of Syria. India will continue to provide humanitarian support and assistance to the Syrian people. Useful exchange of views on developments in the UN Security Council,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.
He reviewed India's strong bilateral partnership with Ethiopia in his meeting with Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen Hassen and discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue and other developments in the region.
The GERD dispute began in around April 2011 when Ethiopia started the construction of the dam, set to be the largest hydroelectric power project in Africa, on the Blue Nile. Egypt and Sudan have objected, voicing concern that the GERD is a threat to their water supply.
In his meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia, Jaishankar discussed meeting COVID-19 challenges and reviewed bilateral ties.
“We will continue to cooperate in the multilateral arena,” he said.
He described his meeting with Foreign Minister of Nicaragua Denis Moncada as a “meaningful conversation” on reforming multilateralism.
“Also deliberated on expanding our development partnership,” he said.
Jaishankar had a "good discussion" on the situation in Myanmar with Thailand Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
“Expressed our support for the ASEAN initiative” and also discussed collaboration in meeting Covid challenges, he said.
In his meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Raychelle Omamo, Jaishankar followed up on the progress of discussions in Nairobi in June 2021 and committed to realising the goals set by leaders of the two countries.
Jaishankar had paid an official visit to Kenya from June 12-14 and Co-Chaired the third session of Kenya-India Joint Commission Meeting.
Noting that India's cooperation in the UN Security Council with Nairobi has been exemplary, he wished Kenya all success for its upcoming UNSC Presidency in October 2021.
Jaishankar said he was “pleased” to meet Colombia's Vice President and Chancellor Marta Lucía Ramírez and had a “productive discussion on challenges of health, trade, energy and climate.
“Our convergences on developmental issues were visible,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to welcoming her in India soon.
“Committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation. Exchanged perspectives on our respective regions. Reaffirmed our tradition of working together in international forums,” Jaishankar said after his meeting with Algeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra.
In his meeting with Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, Jaishankar “appreciated” his sharing assessment of recent developments in his country.
“India supports peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict,” he added.