French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is beginning a visit to Cuba, as a guest of his peer Bruno Rodriguez, with whom he will hold official talks today, Prensa Latina reported.
Fabius arrived, accompanied by businesspeople from his country, in times when Cuba is implementing a new foreign investment law that favors foreign participation in developing its economic and social model.
The foreign minister is the first French official of his level that visits the Caribbean nation in the last 30 years, something that is interpreted as an expression of the common willingness to resume bilateral relations.
His stay here is in the context of the process toward normalization of relations between the European Union (EU) and Cuba and after the decision adopted on February 10 at the Foreign Minister Council of the bloc to start negotiating an agreement on political dialogue and cooperation.
Around 96,600 French citizens visited Cuba last year. The next Cuban International Tourism Fair, to be held in May, will have France as guest of honor.
France is currently in the 10th position among the main trade partners of Cuba in the world and it occupies the forth place in Europe.
Diplomatic relations between both countries were established in 1902, but the historic relations date from long before.