External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid began an official visit to Chile and Argentina on Tuesday night. This is the first ever visit of an Indian Foreign Minister to Santiago. The fact that Mr. Khurshid will be there less than four months since taking charge is hopefully a sign of evolving priorities towards the region.
On January 27-28, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, pro tempore President of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States — CELAC — hosted leaders from the region in Chile. This was preceded by the First CELAC Summit — planned biennially — with the 27 nations of the European Union. Mr. Piñera welcomed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain, struggling with 25 per cent unemployment, and a mountain of debt, “to a better world.” The irony, accentuated by the self-confidence of the Latin American and Caribbean leaders, was not lost on the former colonial power. The CELAC Summit, aiming to “unite our continent as never before,” revealed the distance the region has come from its troubled past.
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