'Mexico is another India, Mexicans are second Indians'

Happenings By Diplomatist Bureau

“We are looking forward to discussing civil nuclear deal with India that may help our nuclear programme, which is exclusively civilian in nature.”

- H.E. Melba Pria,
Mexican Ambassador to India/Sri Lanka/Nepal/Bangladesh/Maldives

India and the Latin American nation Mexico have strong and robust relationship. Apart from the bilateral tie-ups, both countries also share similar backgrounds. Dating back to the time of their independence till now, both have emerged as a big economy. As on August 1, 1950, Mexico opened its first Embassy in Delhi and laid the foundation of their diplomatic relations. To show the importance of the new relations between the two nations, the first Mexican Ambassador to India was former Mexican President Emilio Portes Gill.

Over the years, diplomatic relations between the two nations have strengthened. Both countries have signed numerous bilateral agreements such as:

• Cultural agreement (1975)

• Scientific and Technical Cooperation (1975)

• Cultural and Educational exchange agreement (2005)

• Visa exemption for official and diplomatic passports (2005)

• Extradition treaty (2006)

• Exemption on double taxation agreement (2007)

• Air service agreement (2008)

The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) of South Asia on June 23, 2016 invited H.E. Melba Pria, Mexican Ambassador to India/Sri Lanka/Bangladesh/Nepal/Maldives for a discussion on India-Mexico bilateral relations.

She stole the eyes of the journalists with her unique appearance on a three-wheeler auto rickshaw, garnished with Mexican prints and became the first ambassador who took permission from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ride auto rickshaw instead of Embassy vehicle for every visit across the national capital. Her actual reason for the adoption of this unique policy is a device named Catalytic Converters (to control the pollutants from the cars in Mexico).

The ambassador began the discussion by appreciating India both culturally and politically. She said, “Mexico is another India, and Mexicans are second Indians. India and Mexico are G70 members and share a 70-year-old relationship.”

“Mexico is world’s sixth largest producer of cars in the world and the major manufacturer of Latin America. India exports 1 million cars to Mexico every year and has set up 13 manufacturing units in Mexico,” she said.

While showing her concern towards environment and the rising level of pollution in India, she appealed that ‘pollution is not a quick fix and the government should make the use of Catalytic Convertors mandatory while manufacturing cars like Mexico’. Narrating the journey of how Mexico overcame from a pollution-filled nation to a pollution-free country, she questioned Indian government: “How many sparrows do you want to see dying like Mexico?”

When asked on Mexico’s step in supporting India at NSG, the Guest of Honour answered, “Mexico support India as a rotational member at the UN Security Council, but not as a permanent member. India has to grow as a nuclear power and NPT agenda is important, we should sign a treaty together”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Mexico during his five day international tour opened gates for many high level meetings in the near future. As per Her Excellency ‘high level meetings are lined up between the ministries of India and Mexico in June-July, workshop on seismology in August and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Mexico for a bilateral meeting in October’.

“We need to promote and exchange tourism and cultural values between both countries. Mexico has been an active participant in International Film Festivals, and also plans to organise an Exhibition in the coming months,” the ambassador added.

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