Minister Dlamini-Zuma to visit Cuba for bilateral discussions
18 August 2008
Pretoria – South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will, today, Monday, 18 August 2008 depart for Varadero, Cuba where she will preside over the Regional Conference of South Africa's Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in the Americas and the Caribbean region, scheduled for Friday to Sunday 22 to 24 August 2008.
During the conference Minister Dlamini Zuma will brief South Africa's envoys on regional, continental and international political including the outcomes of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit concluded over the weekend.
While in Cuba, Minister Dlamini Zuma is also scheduled to meet with her Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque on Monday, 25 August 2008; and with the Minister of Foreign Investments and Economic Co-operation Ms Marta Lomas Morales on Tuesday, 26 August 2008.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma will meet with Ministers Pérez Roque and Lomas Morales within the context of South Africa's priority to consolidate and strengthen existing bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Cuba within the broad framework of advancing South-South relations.
South Africa and Cuba have excellent bilateral political and economic relations.
In this regard political relations between the two countries are strong and date back to the prominent and decisive role played by Cuba in the struggle and victory against apartheid and colonialism in southern Africa.
South Africa and Cuba also co-operate at multilateral levels including the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China. Both Cuba and South Africa have similar approaches to various issues collectively embodied in the South agenda, which includes increased co-operation amongst countries of the South and a redefinition of relations between the North and South.
South Africa is the main beneficiary of Cuba's ongoing assistance in the form of scholarships provided to South African youth; transfer of technical expertise or skills development and training in a variety of areas, including health, social development, science and housing.
There are currently 293 South African students studying medicine in Cuba and eight studying towards a degree in physical education and sport.
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Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs
18 August 2008