Havana, Jun 22 (EFE).- The President of India on Friday urged Cuba to lead, together with his country, the process of empowerment of developing nations, during a speech in Havana marking the end of the first visit of an Indian leader to the Caribbean island in more than six decades.
In front of an audience of students, politicians and diplomats at the University of Havana, Ram Nath Kovind expressed his wish that Cuba and India “play a leading role in enhancing South-South cooperation and claiming a greater voice for developing countries”.
In his speech, entitled “India and the Global South”, he stated that “partnership for development has been at the heart of international relations between the two countries” and stressed that Cuban medical relief missions and doctors abroad “have brought health benefits to millions of people around the world”.
He also pointed out the “warmth and friendship” of India’s relations with Cuba, and insisted that developing countries “must work together to gain a better place in the global order”, for which it is necessary that they maintain “mutual respect and solidarity”.
In this regard, he welcomed the decision taken earlier this month to convene the high level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in March 2019 in Buenos Aires.
Kovind’s speech at the University of Havana ended his visit to Cuba, which is considered historic since no Indian leader had visited the island since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power and established the current communist system.
Kovind also visited the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Havana Friday and placed floral offerings at the foot of the statues dedicated to Cuban national hero Jose Marti and the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.