Latin American Nations Upset over India’s Outreach to Africa?

Why are Latin American Nations Upset over India’s Outreach to Africa? India during the rule of the UPA government had promised to open three new embassies in Latin America. Diplomats from Latin American nations have urged the foreign secretary of India, Vijay Gokhale to deliver on the promises made by India before setting up missions in other nations, in an indirect reference to African nations.

Foreign diplomats from Latin America said that they are waiting for India to complete its actions to set up new missions in their respective countries. This demand from Latin American diplomats has intensified after the Indian PM, Narendra Modi announced that India will look to set up new missions in Africa. During his visit to Rwanda and Uganda recently, Narendra Modi stated that new missions will be set up in Africa to bolster India’s ties with African nations.

India had announced three new embassies in Latin America under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the year 2010. South American nations have conveyed to India that before India goes about setting up new missions in other parts of the world, India must deliver on its promises made to them.

The then minister of state for foreign affairs, Dr Shashi Tharoor promised Indian missions in Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Uraguay. These three nations have opened their missions in India but India has not yet reciprocated. The diplomats from these nations are now exerting pressure on India to reciprocate to the gesture of opening their missions in India.

Reportedly India is planning to open its missions in nations like Togo and Swaziland. But Sushma Swaraj, India’s foreign affairs minister had stated earlier that India remains focused on Latin American nations and is considering opening its missions in Latin America.

Among the Latin American nations, India has an Honorary Consul in Ecuador and El Salvador. Argentina and Brazil are the Latin American nations in which India already has a mission.

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