Minister of State Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi’s, visit to Cuba

The Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi addressing a press conference to make an important announcement of Culture Ministry in connection with Republic Day Celebration, in New Delhi on November 12, 2021.

Jan 16: Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, MOS(ML) paid an official visit to the Republic of Cuba from 12 – 14 January 2023. This was her first visit to Cuba.

On 13 January, MOS(ML) began her visit by paying tribute to José Martí at his monument at 3 Marzo Park in Havana. Later, accompanied by Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba H. E Mr Alpidio Alonso Grau, MOS (ML) paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in a Park in Havana.

MOS (ML) called on H.E. Mr Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Republic of Cuba and discussed matters of bilateral importance, political & economic cooperation, etc.4. She was received by H.E. Mr Esteban Lazo Hernández, Speaker of the Cuban Parliament at El Capitolio (National Assembly of People’s Power) where her interaction included the development of indigenous vaccines against Covid and woman empowerment. MOS (ML) apprised H.E. Mr Esteban Lazo Hernández about the Government of India’s policies and emphasised the need to strengthen cooperation between the two parliaments further. H.E. Mr Esteban Lazo Hernández appreciated India’s support for Cuba at the United Nations, Indian-assisted projects and LOC and in training Cuban nationals under ITEC, among others subjects.

During the meeting with H.E. Mr Gerardo Peñalver Portal, Acting Minister of External Relations of Cuba, both sides discussed issues of common interest and expressed willingness to enhance cooperation in development assistance programmes, trade and investment, energy, disaster management, culture, health and pharma, AYUSH, and biotechnology. Detailed discussions were held on LiFE, CDRI, International Year of Millets 2023, sustainability & climate change.

MOS(ML) held bilateral discussions with H.E. Mr Alpidio Alonso Grau, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba and both sides agreed on further strengthening relations in the field of culture with increased exchanges and cooperation including Cinema.

During the visit, India announced donating 12500 doses of pentavalent vaccines to Cuba.

MOS (ML) also visited the Fidel Castro Centre in Havana and the ‘panchakarma centre’ on the premises of the International Health Centre (La Pradera) that was set up in association with AYUSH Ministry where she held interactions with the Director of La Pradera and practitioners of Ayurveda.

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