Fidel Castro Meets with Emir of Qatar in Havana
Cuban President Fidel Castro on Thursday met and signed treaties with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, reported AFP, quoting state television station.
Speaking shortly after his private meeting with Castro in Havana's Palace of the Revolution, the emir told reporters that he was very pleased with the official visit.
The visiting emir added that other leaders joined in signing collaborative treaties in the fields of economics, science and health.
The visit comes at a time when Cuban officials have been in a state of alarm over increased oil prices, which they believe could negatively affect Cuba's economic growth, expected to reach between four and 4.5 percent this year, said Reuters.
Castro told the main Communist newspaper Granma that, in the past few months, Cuba has spent "an additional 500 million dollars" on oil "due to the acceleration of price increases," according to Reuters.
Late Thursday, Cuban officials bestowed upon the emir the Order of Jose Marti, an honor traditionally reserved for fellow left-wing revolutionaries, added Reuters.
Qatar is the only Gulf monarchy to maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba at the ambassadorial level, said AFP.
Trade links, however, are limited to Cuban tobacco exports to the Gulf region, the agency added – (Several Sources)
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