Friday, July 02, 2004

Cuba and Iran Move Closer

: "Cuba, Iran to build Non-Aligneds

HAVANA, July 1 (AFP) - Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi said Thursday that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of countries should be strengthened.

The NAM is to meet in Havana at the end of 2005.

'We share with Iran the hope of a multipolar world, governed by multilateralism, with respect for the UN Charter, a world in which one country does not declare the right to launch unilateral preventive wars,' Perez Roque said in apparent allusion to the US war in Iraq.

Kharrazi said Cuba had endured 40 years of a US embargo because, 'You want to live your own lives and to live upon just principles.

'You do not back unilateralism and we also oppose unilateralism,' Kharrazi said.

Stricter embargo sanctions went into effect Thursday.

Cuba and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1975, but the Shah's government broke them one year later. After the Islamic Revolution, the ties were reestablished in 1979.

The two countries enjoy medical, biotechnology, construction, fishery, culture, trade, agriculture and sports exchanges.

Kharrazi arrived Thursday and was to meet Government Minister Ricardo Cabrisas on Friday."

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