HAVANA – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will arrive in Cuba on Saturday afternoon for an official visit that will include a meeting with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, the Caribbean island’s state-run media said.
Prior to his meeting with Castro, Nazarbayev is expected to pay tribute to Cuban independence hero Jose Marti – a tradition for visiting heads of state and other dignitaries – at a memorial dedicated to his memory in Havana’s emblematic Plaza de la Revolucion.
That square is also home to the Cuban government’s headquarters.
The official biography published Friday in the Communist Party daily Granma states that Nazarbayev has actively participated in politics since the 1980s, during the time of the former Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, noting that he rose to become First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
He has been president of that Central Asian country since 1990, having been re-elected on four occasions.
Nazarbayev is the supreme commander-in-chief of the Kazakh armed forces, chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, leader of the ruling Nur Otan party and president of the Kazakh Security Council.
The Kazakh president was among more than 50 world leaders who traveled to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit, which began Thursday night with a working dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama.
In December 2015, Cuba and Kazakhstan signed a visa-exemption accord for short visits, an agreement aimed at boosting bilateral tourist flows and economic relations.
Two months earlier, nuclear physicist Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, son of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, visited scientific and technical facilities in Kazakhstan to learn about that nation’s potential in the nuclear energy and biotechnology fields and explore the possibility for bilateral cooperation in those areas.