The bilateral engagements between Republic of Fiji and Republic of Cuba will provide opportunities for national development for both the nations. This was highlighted last week at the courtesy call made by the Cuba’s Ambassador to Fiji, H.E. Carlos Manuel Rojas to Fiji’s Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Inia Seruiratu.

The meeting held between the two counterparts looked at strategies to enhance the existing diplomatic ties between Fiji and Cuba. Minister Seruiratu acknowledged the Cuban Government’s support for the Fiji’s health development programs through the provision of medical scholarships to Fijian medical students to attain a Bachelor’s degree in Surgery and Medicine (MBBS) since 2011.

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Ambassador Rojas stated that Cuba has also reached out to other Pacific Island countries namely Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Vanuatu, Kiribati, and Federated States of Micronesia through the Cuban medical scholarships.

Apart from that, there are also discussions on potentially having visa free travel opportunities with Cuba.

Minister Seruiratu said that proposals for new sporting initiatives will also be factored into this year’s collaboration strategies. Fiji and Cuba have established cordial relations with the opening of the Cuban resident mission in Suva. Fiji and Cuba entered into diplomatic relations in 2002 and since then the two nations have continued to enhance collaborations for diplomatic engagement.