Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, received His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic, on July 7, during an official visit to the island.
In a friendly climate, the leaders noted the positive progress of bilateral relations and ratified their desire to expand and diversify existing cooperation between the two nations, especially in the areas of health and human resources training. They also discussed topics of interest on the international agenda.
The distinguished visitor was accompanied by Gabonese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Pacôme Moubelet-Boubeya, as well as other members of the official delegation.
Representing Cuba were Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, and other officials.
OTHER ACTIVITIES ON THE ISLAND
Previous to his meeting with Raúl, President Ali Bongo Ondimba laid floral wreaths in the capital’s Parque de los Próceres Africanos (African National Heroes Park) and at the José Martí Memorial in the Plaza de la Revolución.
During the act honoring those who represented the ideals of African emancipation, the Gabonese President expressed his gratitude to the Cuban people “not only for the interest shown in Africa and its history, but also for participating in our future. We honor great Africans of whom we are proud.”
“This ceremony,” he added, “has touched me; honor to the Cuban people and government for recognizing that their population is of multiple origin and for paying tribute to the other continents.”
In the context of the recently concluded 29th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, the President of the West African nation warned that the AU is currently carrying out a major reform of its institutions in order to “guide our future.”
“We have extensively discussed issues of peace, security and the fight against terrorism,” he told Fernando González, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples; Víctor Dreke, president of the Cuba-Africa Friendship Association; and other members of the African diplomatic corps accredited in Havana.
As part of his activities in Cuba, Ali Bongo also visited the headquarters of the Cuban Parliament, in Havana’s Capitolio Nacional.
He was received by the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernández, who explained the inner workings of this body, which currently sessions in Havana’s International Conference Center.
Lazo recalled the historic ties between Cuba and Gabon, a country interested in intensifying trade and economic exchanges with the Caribbean island, according to its president.
This interest was expressed during a binational business forum held on July 7 with the presence of Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuban minister of Foreign Trade and Investment. (Minrex)