Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hailed Cuba as a revolutionary country and a friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Rouhani made the remarks upon arrival at the Havana Jose Marti International Airport on Monday.
Noting that Iran and Cuba share a history of pressure by certain powers, Rouhani added that bolstering political and economic relations is on the agenda of talks with senior Cuban officials.
Rouhani was then officially welcomed by President Raul Castro at Havana’s Palace of the Revolution. The two presidents are expected to sign a number of agreements in various fields, including trade and energy.
He also met with the president's older brother and predecessor Fidel. According to the Communist Party newspaper Granma, they discussed importance of food production in a world "threatened by climate change, the incessant growth of the global population, and the dangers to the preservation of peace." "Fidel and Rouhani concluded the friendly meeting with the most sincere desires for collaboration between the peoples of Iran and Cuba," the paper wrote.
Ahead of Cuba’s trip, the Iranian president delivered a speech at the 17th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the Venezuelan island of Margarita on Saturday. Rouhani handed over the movement’s rotating presidency to his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.
“At the current juncture, NAM member states more than ever require solidarity, convergence and coordination. The truth is that as a bloc that comprises about two-thirds of the United Nations members, we are an undeniable part of the solutions to the challenges facing today’s world,” he said at the time.
After his one-day stay in Cuba, the Iranian president will travel to New York to deliver a speech at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.