Chavez, Raul Castro meet to enhance bilateral ties

14:23, June 09, 2011      

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Cuban leader Raul Castro met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday to discuss energy and telecommunications projects in an effort to consolidate bilateral ties.

Cuba's official media reported Castro greeted Chavez at Cuba's international airport early Wednesday. The Cuban government said his visit is aimed "to review the agreements" and reaffirm bilateral friendship.

During Chavez's visit, bilateral committees are expected to review progress in cooperation in energy, agriculture, food and telecommunications.

"We are focusing on topics of joint economic development to allow a true, sustainable development to assist the true and essential needs of our people," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said.

Cuba and Venezuela have extensive cooperation in multiple areas, including an agreement for Cuba to receive 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil per day at a favorable price.

One of the major deals under discussion is the participation of Venezuela's state-run Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in explorations and exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in the Cuban deep sea blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last November, the two countries celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Integral Cooperation Agreement, which Chavez signed with Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro on Oct. 30, 2000.

The agreement marked the beginning of cooperation between the two countries, which has pushed the bilateral trade volume to about 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua
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