Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and Mr Diaz cutting the ribbon to open the Cuba Embassy. Photo credit: Robert Iroga.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and Mr Diaz cutting the ribbon to open the Cuba Embassy. Photo credit: Robert Iroga.

Solomon Islands has created history by being the only Pacific Island Country with an Embassy in Cuba.

The Embassy was officially opened in Havana, Cuba by the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, this week.

Speaking at the opening, Prime Minister Lilo said Solomon Islands is pleased to be the first Pacific Mission to establish its presence in Cuba.

He also said, the Mission will serve Solomon Islands students studying there and enhance the Cuba-Solomon Islands cooperation beyond the health sector.

The Prime Minister adds, the cooperation with Cuba is based on solidarity and fraternity.

He also said both countries share common challenges that bind them together, “from climate change to disaster risk management, from energy to food security amongst others”.

The Solomon Islands Mission in Cuba is headed by Simeon Bouro, and has been operational since March 2013.

The Solomon Islands Embassy opening was witnessed by Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice Minister, and members of the Diplomatic Corp in Havana.

Solomon Islands Permanent Rep to the United Nations, Colin Beck, and Solomon Islands students studying in Cuba also attended the Embassy opening.

Meanwhile, the first batch of over 100 Solomon Islands students sent to Cuba to study medicine will be graduating as doctors from their medical school in Havana, Cuba.

At the ceremony to officially open the Solomon Islands Embassy in Cuba, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said, in a few days after six years of studies, the first 22 of Solomon Islands students will be graduating.

The Prime Minister adds, Solomon Islands values Cuba’s model of training which has a humanitarian focus.

He said the Government wants to increase the number of doctors to minimize doctor-population ratio to an acceptable level.

Mr Lilo adds, Cuba is contributing in a substantial way in transforming Solomon Islands and the Pacific health systems.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the graduating Solomon Islands students, and encouraged continuing students to remain committed to their studies.

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