HAVANA – The foreign ministers of Belgium and Cuba, Didier Reynders and Bruno Rodriguez, respectively, pushed on Monday for deepening and broadening the bilateral relationship and increasing cooperation, especially in the economic, scientific, medical and cultural areas.
Reynders, who is on his first official visit to Cuba, met on Monday with Rodriguez at the Foreign Ministry, where he emphasized that his country and the island have maintained uninterrupted ties since 1902, even during “difficult moments,” and guaranteed Belgium’s support for the normalization of relations between Havana and other nations.
He also reiterated Belgium’s position against the U.S. economic and trade embargo and guaranteed his country’s support for Cuba in the new phase of relations launched with the European Union after in March reaching an agreement on political dialogue and cooperation with the EU.
Reynders said that Belgium wants to deepen its relationship with Cuba in the economic and trade areas, and during his visit an agreement will be signed to restructure the Caribbean island’s debt with Brussels, just as other European countries have done with Havana.
He also emphasized the Belgian government’s desire to push forward with bilateral cooperation in the medical and cultural development areas.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said that his Belgian colleague’s visit is a “testament to the elevated development (of) ... bilateral relations and the emphasis on the view of continuing to deepen them.”
“For Cuba, relations with Belgium are a priority,” Rodriguez said, adding that the island wants to continue to build those ties in the economic, trade, academic, scientific and tourist sectors, among others.
He also acknowledged “Belgium’s constructive traditional contribution to the development of relations between the European Union and Cuba.”
The Cuban official also reiterated Havana’s support for Belgium in the wake of the terrorist attacks last March.