Tags: Syria | Assad | leftist | tour

Syria's Assad in Cuba in Latin Leftist Tour

Monday, 28 June 2010 05:33 AM

HAVANA - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived Sunday in Cuba, the second stop of his first tour of Latin America, to meet with President Raul Castro to reinforce political and economic ties between the two allies, officials said.

Assad will meet with Castro on Monday and sign several cooperation agreements, as well as undertake a commitment to reinforce education links between their nations -- some 200 Syrians recently graduated from Cuban universities in health related studies.

Assad's is the first visit to Cuba by a Syrian leader since his late father Hafez al-Assad came here in 1979, when he met with then Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Officials did not rule out a visit by Assad to Fidel Castro, who stepped down for health reasons in 2006 handing Cuba's helm to his younger brother, Raul.

Assad's tour of Latin America started Thursday in Venezuela where he met with President Hugo Chavez. After Cuba, the Syrian leader will visit Brazil and Argentina.

Fidel Castro on Sunday predicted a nuclear war between United States, Israel and Iran, after the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on Tehran over its suspect nuclear weapons program.

"I haven't the slightest doubt that as soon as US and Israeli warships are in place ... and attempt to inspect the first (Iranian) merchant ship, a shower of projectiles will be unleashed ... That will be the exact moment the terrible war will start," Castro wrote in the Cubadebate website.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Monday, 28 June 2010 05:33 AM
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