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India, Guatemala to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation

Guatemala City [Guatemala], May 8 : India and Guatemala on Monday agreed to work together to combat terrorism, which is a threat for the international community.

At a press briefing here, Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said, "India and Guatemala will work together combat the scourge of terrorism, which is a menace in all forms of manifestations. Those who aid terrorism or provide terror financings have to be dealt with strongly. We are closely cooperating with the United Nations as well."

Saran said a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on enhancing cooperation in diplomatic academics. A Letter of Intent (LoI) of providing training for English language to Guatemalan
teachers was also signed under the ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) programme.
She added that Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu chose to begin his five-day overseas visit with Guatemala, as it is strategically located in terms of India's economic interests.

"Guatemala is strategically located in terms of our economic interest. Our Vice President chose to start his visit of South-Central America with Guatemala which was deeply appreciated by the leadership of Guatemala," Saran said.

She further said that the two countries agreed for increased trade links with India, adding Guatemala appreciated the presence of Indian companies in the Central American country.

Citing the example of Bajaj motorcycles in Guatemala, she underscored that due to the strong repairing and support services, the company had been dominating the automobile market of the country for a very long time.

Saran laid emphasis on the Guatemalan leadership appreciating the Indian democratic system, massive economic growth and the peaceful co-existence of a pluralistic and diversified society.
She added that the two sides agreed to cooperate in key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, education, technology, greater academic exchanges, conservational wildlife, agricultural products, automobiles, Information Technology (IT) and boosting tourism.

Saran stressed that New Delhi and Guatemala City agreed to connect the youth of the two countries for better people-to-people exchange.

She further said that there would be a deep cooperation in television and cinema industries between the countries.

"India has considerable experience in the of cinema and audio-visual act field that could be of interest to the Guatemalan cinema industry and I congratulate Guatemala for winning the best foreign film and best actress awards for the film 'Ixcanul' in the Mumbai Film Festival, Vice President Naidu said during the delegation-level talks," she added.

She underlined that Guatemala supported India's candidature in an expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Saran further said that India and Guatemala agreed to expand their cooperation in solar energy and renewable sources, adding that New Delhi invited Guatemala City to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

She said that a proposal of setting up parliamentary friendship group for greater parliamentary exchanges was discussed by the two leaders during the talks.

The Indian Ambassador to Guatemala will host a reception today, wherein the Vice President would interact with the Indian diaspora living in the Central American country.

Vice President Naidu would visit the ancient city of Antigua Guatemala, a Spanish tourist town near Guatemala City on Tuesday.

Guatemala is the first country that Vice President Naidu is visiting in his present capacity and it is the highest level visit between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.
Vice President Naidu is on a five-day visit to Latin America's Guatemala, Peru and Panama commencing from May 6. This is the Vice President's first overseas visit after assuming office last year.

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