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Visit to Australia by Foreign Minister of Cuba.

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Visit to Australia by Foreign Minister of Cuba

Media release

8 June 2010

Today I met with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba, Mr Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

Mr Rodriguez is visiting Australia from Monday 7 June to Wednesday 9 June.

Mr Rodriguez's visit is the first by a Cuban Foreign Minister since 1995 and follows on from my visit to

Cuba in November 2009, also the first visit to Cuba by an Australian Foreign Minister since 1995.

The visit consolidates and builds on the recent advances in Australia-Cuba bilateral relations.

It is a further demonstration of the Government's commitment to enhancing Australia's relations with both

Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba is an influential country in both regions.

The visit by Foreign Minister Rodriguez provides an opportunity to strengthen our bilateral relationship and

deepen cooperation in a range of areas, including science and technology, sport and culture.

We discussed ways to facilitate further trade and investment opportunities, and exchanged views on key

regional and global issues of importance to both countries.

Australia recognises Cuba's humanitarian and development assistance contribution in the Asia-Pacific and

the Caribbean through the provision of medical personnel and expertise. Mr Rodriguez and I agreed on the

importance of working together to improve health outcomes in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Mr Rodriguez and I toured the state-of-the-art Burns Unit and the Major Trauma Unit facilities at Royal

Perth Hospital. We met with Dr Fiona Wood and Dr Sudhakar Rao to see first-hand Australia's expertise in

responding to medical emergencies in our region, such as the Bali bombings and Jakarta air disaster.

We were accompanied on the tour by the Hon Dr Kim Hames, MLA, Deputy Premier of Western Australia

and State Minister for Health.

In Perth, Mr Rodriguez also met my colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP.

Mr Rodriguez's visit to Australia also included Darwin. In Darwin, Mr Rodriguez met the Northern Territory

Minister for Trade, the Hon Daniel Knight MLA.

Media inquiries

• Foreign Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7500

• Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555