The visit to Cuba by Philip Hammond, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was the first by a British Foreign Minister to the Island since the triumph of the Revolution in January 1959.
It broadened the ties between both nations with the signing of four memorandums of cooperation.
The esteemed visitor arrived on January 28 and was received by his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, during a meeting in which the participants expressed their satisfaction with the positive manner in which bilateral relations were progressing.
It was also within the framework of this meeting that Cuba and the U.K. signed four memorandums of agreement to enhance exchanges in the energy, higher education, cultural, professional services and financial sectors.
These mechanisms were adopted by the Cuban Ministers of Energy, Mining, and Higher Education as well as the Cuban Central Bank and on the British side they were adopted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom.
The Cuban chief said that bilateral ties were at a promising stage and had the potential to develop.
He also recognized the notable progress made with the European Union (EU) in the signing of a Political Cooperation and Dialogue Agreement between Cuba and the communityblock and thanked the British for their contribution in this regard.
Philip Hammond described the opportunity to visit Cuba as a privilege and said that “a lot more can be done in terms of trade relations, tourism and people to people exchanges“.
In later statements to the press he highlighted the willingness to strengthen bilateral talks in a constructive spirit on matters of mutual interest.
Hammond also ratified his country’s position in favor of lifting the more than fifty year-old economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States and confirmed that this was also the position of the other EU member states.
The British Foreign Minister’s agenda included a meeting with the President of Cuba, Raul Castro, during which both sides recognized the advances made in bilateral relations and the potential that existed to deepen them in areas of joint interest.
Furthermore, they celebrated the signing of an accord to structure the debt owed to the U.K. by Cuba in the medium-term and long-term, which will contribute to the development of economic, trade and financial relations between the two countries.
These were the principal activities undertaken in Cuba by the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who referred to the great potential that existed to further improve ties over the coming months and years.Share on FB Share on TT