Bassil commences his tour to Latin America by visiting Cuba

FEBRUARY 21, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Gibran Bassil, started his tour to Latin America by visiting Cuba where he met with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, and signed with him cooperation and political consultation agreement between the Foreign Ministries of Lebanon and Cuba.

Discussions and meetings between the Lebanese and the Cuban sides preceded the signing of the agreement which would allow boosting and promoting bilateral friendship and cooperation relations, as well as other political cultural and trade issues of common interest to both countries.

Parrilla commenced the meeting by thanking Bassil for his visit to Cuba, confirming his country’s solidarity with and support to Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence, stressing need to end Israeli violations.

“We support the Lebanese and Arab issues, especially the Palestinian cause, as well as finding a solution to the Middle East region,” Parrilla said.

The Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister thanked, on behalf of the people and government of Cuba, Lebanon for its support to lift the trade, finance and economy siege which was imposed on his country, stressing the importance of Lebanon’s role in seeking to achieve regional and international peace.

In turn, Bassil thanked Cuba for the warm reception, stressing the positive development in relations between it and the United States and confirming the need to start a new stage of relations between two peoples who enjoy the same struggle experience.

“Lebanon supports the dialogue policy … because dialogue is the only way to solve problems and fight terrorism and extremism which our region and the world are facing,” Bassil said.

It is to note that Bassil also gave a lecture at the Superior Institute of International Relations Raul Roa Garcia, entitled ‘the participation of the Lebanese model in international current affairs: boosting dialogue and preserving international stability.’

Bassil pointed out that Lebanon is fighting the extremist ideologies of Daesh (ISIL) and Nusra as well as the Israeli enemy, stressing that the “Lebanese commit to their right to defend themselves against Israeli violations.”

Moreover, Bassil met with the Lebanese Diaspora in Cuba and urged them to visit Lebanon, calling upon them to have trade, medical and scientific relations with their mother country.

It is worth mentioning that Bassil’s visit to Cuba is the first in about 45 years.