Raul Castro Welcomes Kiribati President

Raul Castro Welcomes Kiribati PresidentHavana, Dec 14. -President Raul Castro welcomed in this capital Kiribati President Anote Tong, who is on an official visit.

After the welcoming ceremony, both statesmen reaffirmed the good state of bilateral relations and their willingness to strengthen those links, Cuba's nightly TV news program reported.

Talks included other common issues, such as the outcome of the climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico, where Tong participated, and the effects of higher sea levels.

Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelino Medina also attended the meeting.

According to his agenda, Tong paid tribute to Cuba's national hero Jose Marti at the monument in his honor in the Plaza of the Revolution.

Havana's relations with Kiribati, an archipelago of 33 atolls in the Pacific Ocean, go back to 2002, the same year that Nauru, Tonga, Fiji Islands, Salomon Islands and Cook Islands also established relations with Cuba.

Since 2006, some 23 Cuban health cooperation workers have provided 308,712 medical consultations in that Pacific nation. Since 2007, 33 young people from Kiribati have been enrolled in higher education in Cuba, 31 of them as medical students. (Prensa Latina)