Jan 9, 2009

World - Raul Castro meets Iranian envoy, pledges stronger ties

Havana, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro has expressed confidence in bolstering ties between Havana and Tehran while meeting Iran's Industry and Mines Minister Ali Akbar Mezharabian, according to an official statement.

Mezharabian, the special envoy of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivered a message from the Iranian leader for the Cuban president and his brother Fidel, and stressed Iran´s friendship and solidarity towards Cuba.

During the meeting, Castro stressed on his 'confidence that relations between Cuba and Iran will continue to get stronger, based on respect and gain', said the statement released here Thursday,

The Cuban president also reiterated his country's condemnation of the Israeli brutal aggression on Gaza.

The meeting was held Wednesday afternoon and was attended by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, Deputy Foreign Minister Marcos Rodriguez Costa and Iranian Ambassasdor to Cuba Mostafa Alaei.

Cuba and Iran - both are straunch critics of the US - share a strong relationship and trading between the two countries reached $5 million in 2006.

In 2008, Iran granted Cuba a 200-million-Euro credit line to undertake several different projects; a large part of that money was dedicated to financing Cuban imports of railroad wagons, both for cargo and passengers

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