August 2, 2011
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Participating in an interaction at Observer Research Foundation, envoys from 17 countries from Latin America said their countries are keen to strengthen economic relations with India. “We want better, mutually beneficial relations with India. We have got lots of natural resources, especially oil and other energy resources. But we don’t want to be just provider of resources. We want you to cooperate in our development also,” said Columbian Ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra.
Saavedra, the coordinator of the group of Ambassadors of the Latin American countries, said the US and the Europe used resources from their countries for their development, but did not help them in the development. “While they used our resources, we remained poor,” he said. He wanted India and China to be different in their approach to Latin American countries.
Besides the Columbian Ambassador, Ambassadors from Paraguay, Uruguay, Panama, Costo Rica, Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Dominican Republic attended the interaction. The other countries were represented by high level diplomats like Deputy Chief the Missions and Charge d’ Affaires. The Ambassadors were given a presentation on the ORF Report on India’s non-traditional security threats, titled “Navigating the Near” by Samir Saran, Vice President, Observer Research Foundation. This study was done by ORF for the Integrated Defence Staff, the Ministry of Defence.
Chairing the meeting, M. Rasgotra, a former Foreign Secretary and now President of the ORF Centre for International Relations, said Latin American countries enjoyed good sentiments in India. He said India would be keen to have mutually beneficial cooperation with them.
Former Foreign Secretary K. Raghunath and ORF Director Sunjoy Joshi also took part in the meeting.