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Cuba, Netherlands agree to boost cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-15 13:21

HAVANA - Cuba and the Netherlands signed an agreement Tuesday to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation in various fields including healthcare, trade and investment, the Foreign Ministry said.

The document, signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra and Karel van Ooesterom, director general for political affairs of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, shows the two nations' common interests in promoting and developing cooperation in various fields, it said.

The pact covers trade and investment, agriculture, water resources, healthcare and biotechnology, culture and sports, among others.

Van Ooesterom began the Cuba trip Monday, following a visit by European Union (EU) official Christian Leffler to analyze the details of a possible cooperation agreement between Cuba and the EU that would replace the EU's so-called "Common Position".

The document, approved by EU foreign ministers in 1996, encourages "transformation process" in Cuba and therefore is rejected by Havana as interference in its internal affairs.

For that matter Cuba and the EU suspended their relationship in 2003 and it was resumed in 2008. Since then, Havana has signed agreements with some 15 European countries.

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