South African government officials will round off a visit to Cuba
30 Aug 2011South African government officials will round off a visit to Cuba on Tuesday with meetings with foreign affairs and trade ministry officials there, as part of a programme of consolidating relations between the two countries, the department of international relations said on Tuesday.
International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim and his delegation spend Monday meeting Cuba's first deputy minister for foreign affairs, Marcelino Medina Gonzalez and co-chaired the ninth SA-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) meeting with him.
"The objectives of these official talks include the consolidation of the political, bilateral, and multilateral relations, and to further increase cooperation between the two countries," the department said.
The JCM with Cuba convenes annually and is co-chaired by the two.
It was established 2001.
Ebrahim was quoted as saying South Africa appreciated the close relationship with Cuba, which enabled South Africa to "learn closely from the successes of the Revolution in as far as delivery of social benefits to our citizens".
He thanked that country for its support through joint programmes in health, labour, social development, housing and public infrastructure which includes Cuba offering 80 scholarships to train South Africans as medical professionals every year.
Over 500 South Africans from impoverished communities have been able to pursue a career in primary health care in their communities through this programme.
Possibilities for further similar projects are being explored. For example, Cuba has proposed that South Africa join a trilateral partnership with Norway and Cuba in the field of Public Health to assist Haiti.
South Africa will continue to lobby for the lifting of the Economic, Trade and Financial Embargo against Cuba.
A Technical Committee, led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been set up to work with the Cuban authorities on the modalities of the US$14million aid package as announced by President Zuma. The Committee visited Cuba in May 2011 and again from 22 to 25 August 2011.
Besides paying a courtesy visit to His Excellency Bruno Rodriguez Parilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Deputy Minister Ebrahim also held meetings with Her Excellency Marcia Cobas Ruiz, Deputy Minister of Public Health; and His Excellency Oscar Martinez Cordoves, Deputy Chief of the International Relations Department.
Deputy Minister Ebrahim placed a floral tribute at the bust of Oliver Tambo, the late president of the African National Congress (ANC), at the African National Heroes Memorial Park in Havana.
Tomorrow, 30 August 2011, the Deputy Minister will conclude his trip to Cuba by meeting with His Excellency Dagoberto Rodriguez Barrera, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Abelardo Moreno Femandez, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Rogello Sierra Diaz, Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Orlando Hernandez Guillen, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment.
He and his delegation, constituent of senior officials from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), are expected back in the country on Wednesday, 1 September 2011.
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Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
30 Aug 2011
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