HAVANA – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani parted from Cuba on Tuesday following a state visit during which he met with Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raul Castro, and flew to New York to take part in the United Nations General Assembly.
Rouhani was seen off at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana by Vice President and Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas, the official who also greeted the Iranian Monday when he arrived for his brief stay in the Cuban capital.
On his first official visit to the Caribbean nation, the Iranian president had a “fraternal exchange” with Fidel Castro at his home.
“The distinguished visitor expressed his satisfaction at visiting Cuba and expressed his admiration for its struggle, its achievements and its disinterested aid for other peoples,” said the official report of the meeting with the ex-president, who was last seen in public Aug. 13 on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
Afterwards, Rouhani moved on to the island’s seat of government for his formal meeting with Raul Castro to confirm his determination to “continue developing ties of collaboration,” according to the official note of the meeting.
The Iranian president arrived Monday morning in Havana accompanied by several ministers of his Cabinet including the heads of Health, Industry and Mining, Science and Technology, as well as Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who recently visited Cuba.
Rouhani arrived in Cuba from Margarita Island, Venezuela, where he took part over the weekend in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, also attended by Raul Castro, and now flies to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Expected after the Iranian president’s departure are visits by the prime ministers of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and of China, Li Keqiang.