Irish President Visits Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, starts an official visit to Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica this Sunday to strengthen business and cultural ties in Latin America, said an official spokesman.

    Higgins, who will be accompanied by his wife, Sabina Coyne, and the Secretary of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, has included several days in each country to hold meetings with their top leaders as well as religious, community, and business figureheads.

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    Since he agreed in 2011 to the presidency of the Republic of Ireland, the politician has marked transatlantic relations as a priority of his office.

    The president last year visited Chile, Brazil and Argentina. In preparation, he participated in Spanish courses with his wife in northern Spain during the summer of 2012.

    On arrival to Mexico on Sunday, Higgins will a bouquet of flowers at the monument to St. Patrick’s Battalion, reminiscent of the members of that unit, who were mostly Irish soldiers that fought alongside the Mexican army between 1846 and 1848 to defend the invasion of U.S. troops.

    The next day they meet and at the National Palace with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Prieto, who will participate in a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding between the two countries on trade and development.

    Both leaders will discuss the program which marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Mexico, to be held in 2015.

    On Tuesday, Higgins will travel to Guadalajara, to the north, to deliver a speech at the Business Summit, which will be the first time that a head of state has addressed this economic forum.

    On his last day in the Aztec country Wednesday, the President will participate in an event organized by the Irish Foreign Ministry entitled “Ireland and Mexico in the twenty-first century: a legacy of friendship and a shared future.”

    That same day they go to El Salvador, where the interim mayor of San Salvador, Gloria Calderon Sol de Oñate, will give them the keys of the city and on Thursday they will be received at the Presidential Palace to discuss bilateral issues.

    The President will visit the tomb of the slain Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero on Friday in San Salvador, who was shot on March 24, 1980 by a sniper as he celebrated mass.

    Higgins will conclude his Latin American tour in Costa Rica from October 28th to 30th, where he will be received on Monday in San Jose by the president, Laura Chinchilla.

    In the afternoon, the Irish leader will attend a roundtable organized by “The State of the Nation”, a think tank driven by several universities in Costa Rica for the study of sustainable development issues and social economic development in Central America.

    The next day, he will meet with the president of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, Diego Garcia-Sayan, and also attend the National Theatre for a concert by pianist Jorge Briceno Rica.  (EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

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