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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, is pictured as she met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of El Salvador, Raymundo Rodriguez Diaz?? today, during a courtesy call at Parliament Buildings.??(A.Miller/BGIS)

Bilateral ties between Barbados and El Salvador are set to be strengthened.

This was outlined by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, as she met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of El Salvador, Raymundo Rodriguez Diaz today, during a courtesy call at Parliament Buildings.

In welcoming Ambassador Diaz, Senator McClean said that she was looking forward to working with him in the pursuit of south-south cooperation, since this area was very important to Barbados, adding that this country could offer technical expertise in such areas as climate change. She asked the envoy to explore the possibility of having Salvadorian entrepreneurs come to Barbados to pursue business opportunities especially for conventions.

Ambassador Diaz noted that enhanced relations with Barbados as well as Trinidad and Tobago were a priority for his country and he pledged to do everything possible to strengthen the existing bonds.

With respect to tourism development, the envoy added that both countries shared a rich history, and as such, cultural exchanges could be pursued where special packages are promoted as a way of attracting visitors from El Salvador to the island.

Senator McClean agreed, adding that Barbados had much to offer in this area, especially in light of its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and pointed out that as one of the oldest democracies in the western hemisphere, visitors from Latin America would be able to explore many historical attractions including Parliament Buildings.

Both Senator McClean and Ambassador Diaz agreed that the Caribbean Sea was an important resource which needed to be preserved and protected. The envoy said that his country would lend its support at the international level with respect to Barbados’ thrust to establish a Blue Economy, with Senator McClean pointing out: "It is important for our quality of life and we have to preserve it".

Other areas of discussion included the possibility of signing a visa agreement to make travel easier between the two countries, and El Salvador being granted observer status at CARICOM.

Barbados established diplomatic ties with El Salvador on May 18, 1994 as a way to promote friendship and cooperation and to strengthen ties between that Latin American nation and the Caribbean.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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