Cuba for 'special priority' to Japan
Tuesday 8th December, 2009 (IANS)
Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has said that his country
accords 'special priority' to its ties with Japan and solicited the
Asian country's support regarding Havana's relations with the US.
He made the statement Monday at a meeting with his Japanese counterpart
Kastuya Okada on his second day of a state visit to Japan to celebrate
the 80 years of Cuba's diplomatic relations with the Asian country.
A spokesperson for the Japanese foreign ministry said that Rodriguez
talked of relations between the US and Cuba and said that with the new
US president Barack Obama assuming office 'many things have changed'.
Rodriguez also asked Japan to back Cuba in moving towards detente.
The spokesperson said that during the 90-minute meeting, the ministers
discussed Cuba's debt to Japan where Okada said the situation requires
Rodriguez said the debt payment, according to the agreed plan, is
impeded by certain factors like the global economic crisis, the three
hurricanes that battered Cuba in 2008 and US economic embargo.
The ministers also discussed the possibility of a closer bilateral
cooperation in fields such as medicine and, on a multilateral level,
cooperation in the areas of fighting the climate change and reforming
Rodriguez said his country considers Japan a 'worthy candidate' to
become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The meeting, a part of the 10th Japan-Cuba Political Dialogue intended
to promote bilateral relations, was held at the level of foreign
ministers for the first time, the spokesperson said.
Okada on the occasion recalled 'multiple commemorative events' and
expressed his hope that these events might promote further exchange
between the two nations.
Rodriguez reached Tokyo Sunday after visiting Laos and Vietnam as part
of his Asia tour.
Cuba for 'special priority' to Japan (8 December 2009)