India’s Foreign Minister to visit Guyana by year-end

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India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is expected to visit Guyana before the end of 2021 as part of efforts to re-emphasise the partnership between India and Guyana.

On Sunday night, at an event commemorating India’s 75th Independence Anniversary, Acting Foreign Minister Dr. Frank Anthony alluded to an impending visit of the Indian Foreign Minister.

The News Room was able to confirm that the Indian authorities have been working to facilitate this visit sometime this year.

“We have not had a substantial visit for a long time now so we will try to get a minister of a high rank,” Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, told the News Room on Sunday night.

He reminded that in December, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to visit the country. But that visit was later cancelled.

“… So I think it is high time (because) every country is sending its ministers (to Guyana),” the High Commissioner reasoned.

He added, “It is also part of India’s foreign policy now… We will see when the opportune moment arises and we are trying to build on the relationship.”

Dr. Srinivasa related that India and Guyana have been working closely on a number of projects and programmes including in the sectors of health and infrastructure.

And, he said that this visit would present an opportune time to “re-emphasise the partnership” between the two countries.

Earlier this year, India made a sizeable donation of 80,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. The country has been working with the local authorities in the construction of roads and a hospital.

Importantly, too, Indian state refiner Indian Oil Corp purchased a cargo of oil from Guyana in July. This was transported aboard the Greece-flagged Militos vessel. The Indian authorities have been advocating for a long-term supply partnership with Guyana.

But Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the country had decided against that.

“We told them they would have to put in a bid along with all the companies,” Jagdeo told the News Room in a recent Insider interview.

When asked if the foreign minister’s visit would focus on oil and gas cooperation, Dr. Srinivasa said that oil is only one of the subjects that the two countries will discuss.

“There are many topics that we can discuss.

“…we will touch on many other areas,” he said.

 

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