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Mexico, Cuba to open new chapter in bilateral ties

 2015-11-07 10:51:01.0

mexicubaflag Mexico city:��Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro have pledged to enhance cooperation between the two countries to open a new chapter in bilateral ties. The two leaders on Friday made the remarks in a joint press conference following a bilateral meeting in Merida city in the state of Yucatan, Xinhua reported.�Castro, who is paying his first official visit to Mexico since taking office in 2006, appreciated Mexico for its support to Cuba in ending the "unjust, illegal and immoral" US embargo imposed against the Caribbean island for more than 50 years.�Cuba will never forget that Mexico was the only Latin American country that did not break off relations with Cuba, when all other governments did so under pressure from the US, Castro said. During Castro's visit, Mexico and Cuba signed five new agreements in the areas of migration, education, diplomacy, fishing and tourism. "Mexico values the new opportunities that are arising in Cuba and wants to be its ally in this process of change and opening-up," Pena Nieto said. Under the agreements, the two countries will jointly prevent and fight human trafficking as well as other crimes associated with migration. The two countries will strengthen cooperation in basic education, particularly in literacy, and jointly promote tourism by encouraging tourists to visit both countries. Besides, the two presidents agreed to work to increase investment from Mexico -- Cuba's third most important trading partner in Latin America -- in Cuba. "Our investors can see... a way of contributing to strengthening economic ties by investing in Cuba, while creating jobs in both countries," said Pena Nieto. Meanwhile, Castro focused on the opportunities that lie within the Mariel special development zone, located at the port of Mariel east of Havana, saying "Mexico's experience constitutes important help in the process of economic restructuring we are currently going through." "We are cooperating, not only to benefit our own people, but also to favour the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean," Castro said. Since Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party took office in late 2012, Mexico and Cuba began to recover their ties chilled between 2000 and 2012 when Mexico's conservative National Action Party was in power. (IANS)

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