About 70 percent of the equipment used by Cuba in its oil industry comes
from Azerbaijan, and Havana is eager to obtain more of it, said Cuba's
ambassador to that country.
In an interview published Monday in the Azeri newspaper Trend, Marcelo
Caballero Torres (fot) said Cuba is also interested in food and
agricultural products and in expanding trade in communications and medicine.
Havana and Baku established diplomatic relations in April 1992, but no
ambassadors were named until 2007. Since then, a joint commission on
cooperation has met twice and the two countries have signed agreements
on energy, health, communications, agriculture, tourism, and sports.
A third meeting is scheduled for early March in Havana.
Still, "the exchange of trade between our countries is small, so more
needs to be done in that direction," Caballero told Trend, without
providing any figures.
"The most promising areas in our economic relations are tourism, oil and
gas, communications, pharmacology, health care, education, sports and
other areas," the ambassador said.
"In 2008, two Cuban medical delegations visited Baku to study the market
and consider offering [Cuban] biotechnology services and products" to
Azerbaijan, he said. "Previously, there had been an intensive exchange
of information on health systems. Were there any specific results?
Unfortunately, none to this date."
Azerflag Caballero restated his government's support for Azerbaijan's
territorial integrity and said that Cuba "calls for the immediate return
of territories occupied by Armenia, and a speedy, peaceful resolution of
the Karabakh problem."
Thousands of people died in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that erupted
after the mountainous region in the southern Caucasus declared
independence in 1991. The region has been under Armenian control since a
Russian-brokered ceasefire in 1994, but Azerbaijan has never ruled out
military action to regain the land. (ILLUSTRATION SHOWS the Azeri flag.)
–Renato Pérez Pizarro.