Belgium Confirms Strength of Friendship with Cuba

On the recent visit to the island Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders met with the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Raul Castro, and discussed progress in bilateral relations and the potential for development

By: Marylín Luis Grillo

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2016-06-02 | 17:22:12 EST
The stay in Havana of Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, "opened the way for greater cooperation" between the two states, which is evident in the political, economic, cultural and academic spheres, the minister himself summed up on Wednesday at a press conference.
 
During his visit, the "strong and sincere friendship" linking the two countries was confirmed, said the also Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, who summarized in three strategic points his work in Cuba: the signing of agreements on investment, strengthening ties between Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels and Havana and the proposal that Cuba be the guest of honour at the upcoming Tourism Fair, which will focus on the Caribbean region.
 
In recent days, Reynders exchanged with the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Raul Castro, on progress in bilateral relations and potentials for development. He also spoke with his counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and assessed with the Minister of Overseas Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, the participation of Belgian companies in the Mariel Special Development Zone.
 
He also met with Cabinet Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz and both signed two new agreements for investment protection and debt recovery.
 
The Belgian foreign minister toured the historic centre of Old Havana, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Higher Institute of Art. He also visited the Latin American School of Medicine and the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine, sites where he discussed the medical cooperation provided by Cuba and the possibilities of investing in clinical research involving third countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Similarly, he gave a lecture at the Raul Roa Higher Institute of International Relations dedicated to the relationship between the Caribbean nation and the European Union, and addressed in particular the view of Belgium as a founding EU country.
 
In it, he urged the establishment of dialogues and relations in various fields which will also help to "abolish the blockade."
 
At the press conference, the visitor highlighted the extensive academic collaboration between the island and Belgium, which is confirmed by the granting of about 150 scholarships annually to Cubans to study in the European nation and the presentation for all the courses the defence work for masters and doctorate theses.
 
Translated by ESTI

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