Fiji, Cuba to strengthen ties

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Suva, April 1 (IANS) Cuba is willing to offer assistance to Fiji in areas of common interest and strengthen existing diplomatic ties, a Cuban envoy said here on Friday.

Mario Alzugaray, Cuba’s non-resident ambassador to Fiji, expressed the willingness to strengthen ties while meeting the country’s Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou in Suva, Xinhua cited Fiji’s Department of Information as saying.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for discussions on outstanding sporting agreements and ways Fiji and Cuba can develop relations in areas of youth development.

Fiji signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cuba in 2012 regarding the recruitment of volleyball and boxing coaches, but the MoU was stalled as both countries are yet to identify an English-speaking candidate.

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“There are some other legal contractual obligations Fiji is still to meet so we can go ahead and bring the Cuban coach to Fiji and we are working hard to finalize that this year,” Tuitubou said.

Tuitubou and Alzugaray also discussed youth work in Cuba and possibilities of exchanging ideas in which Fiji can learn from Cuba’s good practices.

“Cuba has an extensive area and youth programme and we are willing to provide you with information you may require and pursue,” Alzugaray told Tuitubou.

With the Look North policy in effect, Fiji has been expanding and strengthening ties with non-traditional partners all over the world.

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