Burundi and Cuba determined to strengthen their cooperation.

The President of the National Assembly of Burundi, Mr. Pascal Nyabenda received Thursday, in exchange of talks, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Cuba to Burundi, with residence in Kampala, Mr. Antonio Luis Pubillons Izaguirre, who came to pay him a courtesy visit in order to boost the Burundi and Cuba cooperation.

During the interview marked by fruitful and productive discussions, the two personalities exchanged talks on issues relating to relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, as the Spokesperson of the President of the National Assembly, Mr. Alexis Badian Ndayihimbaze, told the press at the end of their meeting.

Ambassador Izaguirre highlighted the similarities of the two countries on the political scene.

Ambassador Izaguirre referred to the political situation and the economic situation that currently prevails in Cuba. At the political level, Cuba plans to hold a constitutional referendum in February 2019 to revise certain
provisions.

Cuba is also facing economic difficulties and is not considering asking for foreign aid to organize the constitutional referendum. Cuba wants to draw inspiration from the experience of Burundi which has just organized the constitutional referendum without external support, according to Mr. Ndayihimbaze.

THE BIG PICTURE: The good relations between the two countries are portrayed in particular by the support Cuba is offering to Burundi when the European Union and the various UN commissions, including the Commission of human rights, are making resolutions or decisions against Burundi. Cuba is sympathizing with Burundi.

Ambassador Izaguirre also said that Cuba will continue to support Burundi in the different sectors.
The two countries have enjoyed good relations of friendship and cooperation since 1967, to consolidate them, even though they have almost fallen apart because of the situation in Burundi since 1993.

Main areas of cooperation between Cuba and Burundi.

The main areas of cooperation are education and health. In the field of health, Cuba sends specialist doctors to Burundi to support the country.

The ambassador promised that his country will analyze how to increase the number of specialists to send to Burundi.

Cuba asked to increase the number of scholarship recipients from Burundi.

President of the National Assembly, Nyabenda, asked Cuba to increase the number of Burundian scholarships granted to Burundians to study in the Universities of Cuba.

For the moment, three Burundian students benefit from scholarships to Cuba. The Cuban Ambassador promised that his country will see how to increase this number of scholarship recipients in Cuba but that this will depend on the places available in the universities of Cuba.

Cooperation between the MPs of both countries.

The Cuban ambassador to Burundi wished to strengthen relations between the National Assembly of
Burundi and Cuba. He invited the President of the National Assembly to visit Cuba and he promised to do it as soon as possible.

Ambassador Izaguirre also asked Mr. Nyabenda to facilitate the formation of a parliamentary group composed of Burundian parliamentarians and Cubans in order to exchange experiences.

The Speaker of the Lower Chamber of Parliament of the Burundian Government accepted the proposal as it could improve the work of representing the people, reports the Burundi Press Agency.

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