Staff Reporter Windhoek-The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Peya Mushelenga, reiterated Namibia’s support for efforts to have the decades-old economic and financial embargo against Cuba lifted. The U.S. spearheads the more than five-decade-old embargo against Cuba. Mushelenga echoed this during the third session of the Namibia-Cuba Joint Working Group, also attended by Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Relations, Ileana Núñez Modoche, and her delegation, in the capital yesterday. The meeting was in compliance with the framework of the existing traditional relations of friendship, cooperation, eagerness to strengthen and further enhance the bilateral economic and trade relations, between the governments of the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Cuba. The main objective of the joint working group is to review the progress of the bilateral relations in order to strengthen and deepen economic and trade relations between both countries. Similarly, the session of the Namibia-Cuba Joint Working Group serves as a platform where the two countries identify areas of cooperation such as health, trade and investment, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, energy and education. Mushelenga used the opportunity to inform the delegation that the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development has agreed to retain and extend the term for a further one year, of the five years, of the 17 professionals whose term of service comes to an end this month. He said the purpose of this arrangement is to allow for a smooth transfer of local knowledge and easy acclimatisation of the new group. “The choice of the Cuban experts who are coming to Namibia is preceded by a selection process, which includes interviews with the identified professionals,” he said, adding that a team from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development travelled to Cuba last month with the view to conduct face-to-face interviews with the identified professionals. He said the new group is expected to arrive and assume duty in Namibia in February 2018. Furthermore, Mushelenga told the delegation that Namibia was this year unable to send students to Cuba to study medicine due to the economic downturn the country currently faces. However, he said he is optimistic that with the austerity measures firmly in place, “we will soon witness major advancements and a positive economic outlook”. He said Namibia-Cuba relations have remained excellent over the years and both sides have cooperated constructively in the international arena and bilaterally. “Namibia persistently supports Cuba in her efforts to have the more than five decade-old economic and financial embargo imposed on Cuba by the U.S. lifted. I hope that we will be able to strengthen this relationship with regular annual consultations,” he said. In conclusion, he said he hoped that the discussions would bring to fruition agreements and memoranda of understanding that are implementable with tangible results for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries.
2017-12-20 09:29:57 9 months ago