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04/21/11 - Bernama (Malaysia) - Friends Of Cuba Boost Cultural Exchanges

April 21, 2011 20:10 PM

Friends Of Cuba Boost Cultural Exchanges

MELAKA, April 21 (Bernama) -- The Friends of Cuba Association Malaysia
(FOCAM) is set to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries,
which have had diplomatic relations for the past 35 years.

The Cuban ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos A. Amores, said Casa Cuba, a
gallery launched in 2007 here to exhibit Cuban culture, would help FOCAM
boost cultural exchanges between the two countries.

"Besides cultural exchanges, the organisation aims to promote friendship
and trade," he said at the Melaka launch of FOCAM in Casa Cuba, Bukit
Peringgit here, Thursday.

The launch was presided over by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali
Rustam, and attended by the Ecuadorian ambassador to Malaysia, Lourdes
Puma Puma; the Iraqi ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Amal Mussa Hussain; the
Fijian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Suliasi Lutubula; and officials from
the Brazilian and Russian embassies in Malaysia.

Amores said the excellent political relationship between Malaysia and Cuba
was based on brotherly friendship and close cooperation in issues raised
by international organisations, besides shared interests on international

"FOCAM has been introduced to make this friendship closer and deeper, and
to bring to Malaysians the culture of Cuba. It also aims to promote closer
economic relations for the benefit of both countries," he said.

He said that to promote FOCAM outside Kuala Lumpur, the embassy chose
Melaka because the state has been successful in promoting its traditional
culture globally, especially to tourists.

He pointed out that Melaka received more than nine million tourists last
year. By combining FOCAM's efforts to promote cultural exchanges and
Melaka's efforts to promote tourism, both parties would benefit, he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali hoped that the FOCAM launch would be the first of
several activities to be held in Melaka by the Cuban embassy. He also
looked forward to cooperative ventures between Melaka and Cuba through

"We are looking to send several of Melaka's scientists and doctors to Cuba
to learn and serve there. We are also looking forward to Cuban scientists
and doctors serving here. We can conduct such exchange programmes in the
future," he said.

FOCAM was launched by the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez
Parrilla, on Oct 12 last year in Kuala Lumpur. Deputy Minister of
International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir serves as
its current president.


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