Meenakashi Lekhi begins six-day visit to Portugal and Spain from September 11


NEW DELHI: Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi will pay a six-day visit to Portugal and Spain beginning Sunday to inject a fresh momentum into the ties with the two European nations.

Lekhi will visit Portugal from September 12 to 14 during which she will hold talks with her counterpart Secretary of State for International Affairs Francisco Andre, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

It said a bilateral agreement on the recruitment of Indian citizens to work in Portugal will be signed during the visit.

Lekhi is also scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Culture Minister Graça Maria da Fonseca and Executive Secretary of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries Zacarias da Costa, the MEA said.

“India was admitted as an Associate Observer of CPLP in July and is committed to deepen its historic relations with the Lusophone countries,” it said in a statement.

Lekhi will also meet members of the Indian community and attend an event marking the rich cultural heritage of India as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, the MEA added.

It said Lekhi will hold discussions with her Spanish counterpart, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ángeles Moreno Bau and meet other senior dignitaries during her visit to Spain from 15-17 September.

“The Minister of State will also inaugurate ´The Beatles and India´ exhibition at Casa de la India, Valladolid and deliver a talk on India’s development cooperation at the Spain India Council Foundation,” the MEA said.

It said she will also interact with Indologists and Indophiles, including ICCR Alumni, and the Indian Community in Spain.

“India enjoys warm and friendly relations with both Portugal and Spain. The visit of MoS, which is the first in-person official engagement with both countries since the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to provide fresh momentum to bilateral ties,” The MEA said.