BEIRUT: Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil signed a cooperation agreement with Cuba Friday in the first official visit by a Lebanese foreign minister to Havana since 1970.
The two officials signed an agreement to boost diplomatic collaboration between their foreign ministries, according to a statement released Saturday by Bassil's media office.
Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla highlighted his country’s solidarity with Lebanon, and its keenness to see an end to Israel's efforts to destabilize the country.
“We express our support to the Lebanese and Arab causes, especially to the Palestinian cause,” Parilla said after meeting with Bassil.
Bassil in turn congratulated his counterpart on the recent rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, saying "the revolutionary spirit of the Cuban people" led to this positive result.
He hoped that the Lebanese community in Cuba, which is estimated to be comprised of about 30,000 people, will help the bonding process between the two countries and their citizens, especially in terms of economic and cultural relations.
Parilla had held a reception ceremony for Bassil upon his arrival to Havana, to which all ambassadors to Cuba were invited.
Bassil also discussed with Cuba’s Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz ways of boosting relations, and the two officials agreed on forming a joint diplomatic committee for this purpose.
Bassil arrived in Cuba Friday and visited the grave of José Marti, a Cuban revolutionary intellectual and national hero.