Ahmadinejad, Castro discuss bilateral ties, int’l issues

Iran and Cuba here Saturday discussed avenues for bolstering bilateral relations as well as leading international issues.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is currently in Havana, Cuba, to attend the 14th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), met with Cuba’s acting president Raul Castro prior to signing documents and memoranda of understanding by the two sides on bolstering bilateral cooperation.
“Iran and Cuba enjoy common and close stances on international issues,” Ahmadinejad said.
He added, “Expansion of cooperation between Iran and Cuba, as two independent and important NAM member states which enjoy a special and strategic position in the Middle East and in Central America and the Caribbean, will strengthen the movement.” He said Cuba, as a main founder of the NAM plays a pivotal role in promoting goals of the international movement and hoped ground would be prepared for NAM, as the second biggest international organization after the United Nations, to play a more effective role during Cuba’s new presidency.
Pointing to the new agreements and documents for cooperation signed between the two states, the Iranian president expressed hope that Tehran-Havana relations would be further boosted in all fields particularly in economic areas.
Castro, for his part, expressed Cuba’s determination to expand all-out cooperation with Iran and stressed the importance of making decisions to further activate the NAM.
He voiced Havana’s full support for Tehran’s international stance and stressed on Tehran’s inalienable right to have access to peaceful nuclear energy.
“Cuba is happy with Iran’s independent and rightful stance and has always praised it,” the Cuban acting president said.
Referring to the US all-out pressure to undermine the 14th NAM summit, he said Washington is on threshold of collapse.
Although the US is strong in military fields, it is very weak in terms of morality, he said.
Castro added that further cooperation among independent revolutionary states of the world would strengthen their stance. “If one day the US supports Cuba’s stance, Havana should cast doubts over authenticity of its measures.”
He welcomed expansion of trade and economic ties between Tehran and Havana and expressed his country’s readiness in this regard.

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