New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi, during her diplomatic visit to Guatemala and El Salvador reviewed the entire bilateral relations of India with both nations and discussed ways to further enhance ties at a multilateral level.

During her visit to Guatemala, which took place on January 15-17, Lekhi discussed cooperation in the fields of Science and Technology, Women Empowerment and Capacity Building in the interiors of Guatemala, the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official statement.

She met with the Acting President of Guatemala, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Mario Bucaro, the Minister of Culture of Guatemala, Felipe Aguilar and several others.

MoS handed over a symbolic key to the Foreign Minister for the donation of ten pickup trucks by the Government of India to the Government of Guatemala. To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship, both Ministers inaugurated the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the premises of the Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting with the Minister of Health, both sides discussed growing bilateral cooperation in healthcare especially related to holistic healthcare and Ayurveda and the donation of essential medicines by India, the official statement read.

MOS Lekhi also inaugurated the Indian Film Festival and participated in a Yoga Festival in Antigua. On January 16, she took part in a Business dinner hosted by the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF) in the presence of top Guatemalan business leaders, following which she delivered talks on '50 Years of India-Guatemala Relations' at the University del Valle (UVG) in Guatemala City.

MOS virtually inaugurated the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the eastern Guatemalan City of Livingstone where around 80 families of Indian origin people reside, who travelled to Guatemala from Belize in the middle of the 19th century. She also interacted with the members of the Indian Community in Guatemala during her visit.

The Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi visited El Salvador on January 17-19.

During the visit to El Salvador, MOS called on Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador; and met with Alexandra Hill Tinoco, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mariemm Pleitez, Minister for Culture; and J. Miguel Kattan, Secretary of Commerce and Investment, the MEA said in a release.

MOS discussed ways to further enhance bilateral relations, especially India's development cooperation with El Salvador, growing bilateral economic relations and collaboration at the multilateral level including at the UN. She also invited El Salvador to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Both Ministers reviewed the whole bilateral relationship during their meeting with Minister Hill. They agreed that the next Foreign Office Consultations will be placed soon in New Delhi on a mutually agreeable date. Minister Hill praised India for supplying COVID vaccine and crucial medications to countries during the pandemic's difficult periods. To commemorate India's 75th anniversary of independence, both Ministers launched the Indian Film Festival at the University.

MOS delivered a talk on '75 years of India's Growth Story' at Dr Jose Matias Delgado University in San Salvador. MOS also interacted with the members of the Indian Community and business leaders in El Salvador during her visit.

The MOS's travel to Guatemala and El Salvador demonstrates the significance India places on bilateral relations with these nations. The visit is anticipated to give the bilateral cooperation a boost and strengthen people-to-people ties, the press release read.