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Cuba, PNA sign three cooperation agreements

RIA Novosti

06:43 27/09/2009 HAVANA, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - Cuba and the Palestinian National Authority have signed agreements on cooperation in education, sport and culture during PNA leader Mahmoud Abbas's first official visit to Cuba that started Saturday.

The Cuban Communist Party's Jorge Risquet assured Abbas of Cuba's support, saying he hopes "the Arab people will win and a fully sovereign Palestinian state will be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with its capital in East Jerusalem."

Abbas, whose visit will end Sunday, expressed his gratitude to Cuba for support and called on the international community to demand that Israel fulfill UN resolutions on the Middle East.

The issue of Jewish outposts has become the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, and a sticking point in relations with the United States, Israel's main strategic ally.

Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity, and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001.

Cuba and the PNA have historically maintained close ties. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visited Cuba five times and maintained friendly relations with Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro. The PNA has condemned the U.S. economic and financial embargo on Cuba.

Bilateral cooperation in the education sphere started in 1961, and by now 364 Palestinian students have graduated from Cuban educational establishments.


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