Medvedev's visit "magnificent," Cuban President Castro says

Other News Materials 28 November 2008 22:43 (UTC +04:00)

Cuban President Raul Castro on Friday described as "magnificent" the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who also met Cuban leader Fidel Castro, dpa reported.

"It has been a magnificent visit," Raul Castro told reporters, after he and Medvedev laid a wreath at the Mausoleum of the Soviet Internationalist Soldier, which honours 68 soldiers who died in Cuba in 1962-1966, either while taking part in disaster relief work or as a result of accidents.

Medvedev and Fidel had an hour-long meeting during which they discussed the future of Russian-Cuban cooperation and international political issues.

Medvedev's official visit of less than 24 hours, is the first by a Russian president to Cuba in eight years.

Cuba was the last stop on Medvedev's tour of Latin America, during which he also visited Brazil and Venezuela, after attending the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peruvian capital Lima.

On Thursday, Medvedev said in Havana that "Latin America is a big region and to put things simply and clearly, we have never really had a serious presence here. Our presence in the region has been episodic."

"We should work together in all the areas that bind our countries together in a partnership and full-fledged economic, cultural, humanitarian and military ties, and this is nothing to be shy about," he said.

Cuban officials noted that the meetings took place in an atmosphere of "friendship, understanding and mutual respect."