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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Government, May 30) – Cuba has invited Solomon Islands to revive discussions on assistance especially with the supply of medical doctors and training of local doctors.

The matter was first brought up when in 2000 Hon. Patteson Oti, who was then also Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government then visited the capital of Cuba, Havana to discuss how the Caribbean country could assist Solomon Islands with its shortage of local doctors.

The issue was brought up again in Port Moresby, PNG, yesterday when Mr Oti met with a delegation from Cuba attending the ACP Ministerial Council Meeting.

"We are ready to talk with Solomon Islands about any assistance that you need," the Cuban delegation told Mr Oti. "We are ready to receive the Solomon Islands Minister of Health to discuss and conclude arrangements for Cuban doctors to come and work in your country and for some of your doctors to be trained in our country," Mr Andres Ballester, Director for Asia and Pacific in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Government Communications Unit after the meeting with Mr Oti.

Mr Ballester revealed that 400 doctors from Cuba were already working in East Timor.

He thanked Solomon Islands for continuing to support a resolution by Cuba at the United Nations calling on the United States to lift its embargo on the Caribbean nation.

"One hundred and eighty two countries support the Cuban resolution and Solomon Islands is one of the countries. We like to ask Solomon Islands to again support the Cuban resolution when it comes before the United Nations this year," Mr Ballester said.

June 1, 2006

Solomon Islands Department of Prime Minister:

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