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Pakistan and Cuba agree to boost ties

May 25, 2006


ISLAMABAD, May 24: Pakistan and Cuba have expressed their resolve to keep working for consolidating bilateral ties that had been deepened by the Cuban humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the Oct 8 earthquake.

These sentiments were shared by President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla at a meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Parrilla has been in Pakistan since October supervising Cuban medical relief mission in quake-affected areas. He is now returning to Cuba.

During the farewell call on the president, Mr Parrilla said that Cuba had extended the assistance with a sense of duty. He said the Cuban medical team was returning home with immense gratification and would leave behind all the field hospitals it had established here.

“President Pervez Musharraf expressed profound gratitude of the government and people of Pakistan for the substantial assistance provided by Cuba in the relief and rehabilitation work,” a foreign ministry statement said.

He particularly appreciated the goodwill gesture of President Fidel Castro and lauded the spirit and services of the Cuban medical personnel.

“The president said that Cuba’s contribution to our relief efforts would always be remembered by the people of Pakistan,” the statement said.

The Cuban mission had set up 32 field hospitals and two relief camps in the NWFP and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, staffed by more than 2,400 doctors, paramedics and physiotherapists. Tons of medicines and medical equipment were also dispatched by Cuba over the past seven months. About 30 amputee patients received treatment in Cuba.

The head of the Cuban relief mission in Pakistan, Ambassador Ivan Mora Godoy, and Chief Medical Officer Dr Juan Carlos accompanied Mr Parrilla.

Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority deputy chairman Lt-Gen Nadeem Ahmed was also present on the occasion.