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Indonesia, Cuba explore further bilateral cooperation


17:03, May 24, 2013

The visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla (L) meets with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalagawa in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 24, 2013. (Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

JAKARTA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian and Cuban foreign ministers discussed here Friday on possibilities to expand further cooperation in various fields between the two countries, strengthening the cooperation of the countries that jointly co- founded the Non-Aligned bloc in 1960s.

Speaking in a joint press conference attended by the visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the two governments were interested to expand cooperation in various fields aside of trade.

Bilateral ties between Indonesia and Cuba has been increasing well, particularly in social and culture section. The two nations have exchanged athletes and coaches to undergo training programs in respective countries.

During the occasion, the two ministers witnessed the signing of MoU on sports and culture cooperation, conducted by senior officials of both countries.

Indonesia-Cuba diplomatic ties was initiated on January 1960 by Fidel Castro and former Indonesian president Soekarno. It was immediately followed by the visit of Soekarno to Cuba in May 1960. Since then Indonesia and Cuba preserve strong relationship in Non- Aligned Bloc forum that was established in 1961.

Even though it has been up and down in the last five years, the two-way trade between the two countries increased by 8.6 percent to 13.9 million U.S. dollars in 2012 from 12.8 million U.S. dollars in 2008.

Indonesia's exports rubber products, plastics, electronics, footwear and office equipment to Cuba. Meanwhile its import from the latter consists of vaccine and cigars.

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