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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Business

Argentina President Kirchner stresses the need to expand relations with Cuba

Posted February 28, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Business.
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[url=http://www.granma.cu]http://www.granma.cu[/url]

BUENOS AIRES.- Argentine President Nestor Kirchner today highlighted the importance of the current visit by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque to the South American country and the need to expand bilateral links, shortly after meeting with the Cuban minister.

In an exclusive statement to Prensa Latina, the head of state said that this was “one of the responses we owe to the peoples we are responsible for governing.”

With respect to ratifying the Argentine position of abstaining during the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the subject of Cuba, Kirchner stated that “this is a very clear matter for the Argentine people and the government does nothing more than interpret the will of the people.”

“It’s a decision by someone who temporarily exercises power in Argentina, in our case, and a majority decision by the Argentine people,” he insisted.

The President received the Cuban foreign minister in the Rose House this Thursday and held talks in the presence of Rafael Bielsa, the Argentine foreign minister and Alejandro González, Cuba’s ambassador to Argentina.

Afterwards, Perez Roque told Prensa Latina that it had been an excellent meeting and “we were overwhelmed by the openness and content of the discussions.

“We talked extensively about bilateral relations, the advances we have made with respect to this, as well as the current situation in Cuba,” he added.

“The president has shown tremendous solidarity with Cuba, with the struggles of the Cuban people, and we are very satisfied with the results of the meeting,” he reiterated.

The Argentine leader also informed the visitors of the efforts made by the government in terms of domestic policy and the regional plan to revitalize MERCOSUR (the Southern Common Market).

Perez Roque explained that during the meeting he told Kirchner that Cuba is supporting “the battle Argentina is undertaking in favor of its national interests.”

“We also expressed our gratitude for Argentina’s position of solidarity towards Cuba and we once again invited him to visit the island at a time he considers to be appropriate,” he continued.

This Thursday, before the meeting with Kirchner, Perez Roque and his delegation met with Eduardo Camaño, leader of the House of Deputies, and also with Daniel Scioli, the Argentine vice president.

JOINT STATEMENT RELEASED

A joint statement produced by both countries and released today acknowledges the advances made with respect to bilateral relations and the commitment to cooperate in finding a solution to global challenges on the basis of respect for international law and the United Nations.

The statement emphasizes the irreplaceable role of the UN and calls for a strengthening and revitalization of this organization.

The Cuban minister also thanked Argentina for its support for the UN General Assembly’s resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.

In the same way, he welcomed Argentina’s position on Cuba at the UN Human Rights Commission.

He also expressed support for Argentina to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2005-2006, as well as for the country’s legitimate right to sovereignty over the Malvinas islands.

According to the document, both sides emphasized the importance of expanding the bilateral Complementary Economic Agreement in order to explore new business opportunities between both markets.

Cuba also stated that it will soon formalize its request to negotiate with MERCOSUR through a 4 plus 1 agreement.

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