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Cuba, India pledge to expand economic cooperation

Cuban First Vice President of the Council of State Miguel Diaz-Canel and visiting Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari pledged to expand economic, trade and cooperation ties between the two countries, media reports said.

The two senior officials discussed international matters here Wednesday, such as their consensus on issues at international forums, and Cuba's role as current president of Community of the Latin American and Caribbean States, Xinhua cited from a press release.

The Indian vice president "described...as excellent the ties his country and Cuba have had for more than half a century", Cuba's National News Agency (AIN) said.

After placing a wreath at a monument to national hero Jose Marti in Havana, Hamid Ansari "highlighted the close friendship that unites the two nations", and "the importance of the life and work of Marti and his significance to the island and the rest of the world", the AIN added.

Later Wednesday, the two official were to sign a visa-exemption agreement between the two countries and a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in radio and television.

Hamid Ansari arrived here Tuesday on an official two-day visit, accompanied by a delegation that includes Human Resources Minister Jitin Prasada, as well as other government officials and legislators.

On Tuesday, he attended the inauguration of the Festival of Indian Culture, which will last till Nov 4 and is considered the biggest event of its kind in Cuba.

Cuba and India maintain cooperation programmes in the fields of agriculture, education, electronics, information technology and the textile industry.