Islamabad, October 22, 2014 (PPI-OT): Pakistan and Cuba have expressed determination to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields in the spirit of friendship, cordiality and understanding. The Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz, during a call by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba, stated that the positive trajectory in relations between Pakistan and Cuba should be maintained which got a new momentum after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
At that time, Cuba extended generous support in relief and rehabilitation effort. During the visit, Deputy Foreign Minister also called on the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatemi and the Foreign Secretary.
During these meetings the need to realize the potential of bilateral relations through concrete steps was emphasized. The Special Assistant briefed on current developments in the region and underscored the need for a peaceful neighbourhood. The Foreign Secretary noted with appreciation Cuba’s generous gesture of granting 1000 medical scholarships to deserving students from Pakistan.
He also briefed the visiting delegation on developments in the South Asia region, particularly Pakistan’s efforts to bring stability and prosperity in the region were highlighted. The Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Rogelio Sierra Diaz is currently visiting Islamabad for the Third Round of Bilateral Political Consultations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Additional Secretary (Americas) Mr. Burhanul Islam led the Pakistan side for the Consultations. The discussions between the two sides were held in a very cordial atmosphere. Pakistan and Cuba reviewed developments in bilateral relations since the last round of Consultations held in Havana in 2012 and identified new areas of cooperation. Both sides felt that there was much potential to build on the friendly bonds existing between Pakistan and Cuba. It was agreed to increase exchanges to promote relations particularly in the areas of trade, education, health and biotechnology, culture and sports.
Two sides agreed to set a target for bilateral trade upto US $ 20 million in the next 5 years. Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Rogelio Sierra Diaz briefed on the situation in Latin America and Cuba’s role in forging closer ties with the countries of that region and promoting further integration. He emphasized the need for strengthening cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations.
During his three-day (22-24 October, 2014) visit to Pakistan, Deputy Foreign Minister Diaz would call on the Acting Chairman Senate and Speaker National Assembly. He would also hold meetings at Economic Affairs Division and the Higher Education Commission.
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