Panama’s Varela meets with Abdo Benitez on official visit to Paraguay


Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela on Thursday began his official visit to Paraguay by meeting with his Paraguayan counterpart and host, Mario Abdo Benitez, with whom he will sign trade, agricultural and tourism agreements.

The Panamanian leader, who arrived in Asuncion Wednesday night, was received by Abdo Benitez at the Government Palace after suspending his previously scheduled placement of a floral offering at the National Cemetery of Heroes because of heavy rain.

The two leaders held a private meeting in the president’s office then moved on to an expanded bilateral meeting with members of both administrations to discuss specific issues regarding the agreements.

An extended meeting will also be held between the respective foreign ministers, followed by another with Paraguayan officials from the Departments of Tourism, Trade, and Agriculture and Livestock, according to the official agenda.

As it is the custom with every international leader’s visit, the Paraguayan government presented Varela with the National Order of Merit.

After the meeting, the two groups will move to the presidential residence of Mburuvicha Roga (House of the Leader, in Guarani), where they will have a private lunch.

Varela will continue his agenda in the afternoon at the Industrial Union of Paraguay (UIP), where he will present Panama’s investment opportunities to Paraguayan businessmen.

On Friday, the president plans to make a tour of Paraguay’s interior with a visit to Misiones province and another to the Jesuit missions of San Cosme and San Damian, one of the main tourist attractions of this country and one of the most highly regarded missions that are being preserved.

Varela will also head to Encarnacion, Paraguay’s tourist capital which borders on Argentina, where he will have lunch with Itapua provincial Gov. Juan Alberto Schamalko.

On Saturday, the Central American leader’s last day in Paraguay, Varela will tour the Itaipu dam located on the border between Paraguay and Brazil.