Tags: cuba | australia | ties | castro

Cuba Boosts Ties With Australia in PM Visit

Monday, 23 Nov 2009 09:39 PM


HAVANA — Cuba and Australia have decided to strengthen their 20-year relationship, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said Monday at the start of a two-day visit to Havana.

"I see my visit here very much as the first step in our relationship to enhance good working and productive relationships between Australia and Cuba," Smith told Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

Smith's visit, the first by an Australian foreign minister in 15 years, comes two decades after Canberra moved to establish closer relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Australia wants to enhance its engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, not just with individual countries like Cuba, but also about working close to development regional organizations like CARICOM," Smith said, referring to the Caribbean Community.

He said he was pleased at how Cuba and Australia have been working "much closer together" in the past two years in international organizations "particularly in the United Nations."

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