Cuban President Visits Algeria
Castro arrived around 5:00 p.m. at the Algiers international airport, where he was received personally by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Diplomats told Efe that the Cuban president will discuss with his Algerian counterpart the preparation for the summit of heads of state of the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, which will be held July 15-16 in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Castro visited Algeria in February on his first official trip as Cuban president, although he acknowledged that he had traveled incognito several times to the North African country as a special envoy for his brother Fidel.
“Relations between Cuba and Algeria are clear and very strong and not only have they remained that way, but they have strengthened with time,” he said on that occasion.
The two countries established diplomatic relations just one day after the proclamation of Algerian independence in 1962, when the Arab nation was a model for revolutionaries all over the world after winning its bitter and bloody war of colonial liberation against France.
The aim now is to broaden to the economic sphere the good relations that exist in the political area and extend to other sectors like energy and education the intense cooperation that exists in the health area.
During the mixed intergovernmental commission held at the end of May, the Cuban minister of foreign trade, Rodrigo Malimierca Diaz, emphasized the chances for bilateral cooperation in the areas of technology transfer, biological products, culture, communications, the hydraulics sector, fishing and sports.
Algerian daily El Moudjahid on Sunday called this second visit by Castro in such a relatively short time a “profound testimony of the esteem and friendship” between the two countries, who share “a long tradition of struggle in favor of freedom of peoples” in the group of non-aligned countries.
Algeria and Cuba in May 2007 worked out a memorandum of understanding and in January 2008 a joint commission in Havana reached agreement on several cooperation projects, especially in the health sector.
Source: Herald Tribune