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Vietnam sends 5,000 tonnes of rice, helping Cuba’s COVID-19 fight

09:03 | 18/04/2020

Vietnam is sending Cuba  5,000 tonnes of rice from the Vietnamese Government and people to the Cuban people to support their COVID-19 fight, VNA reported on April 17.

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Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha (R) presents the token of the relief package to Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera (Photo: VNA)

Acting under the empowerment of Vietnamese Party and State leaders, Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha just handed a letter from Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, addressed to Cuban high-ranking leaders, to the country's Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera, as well as the token of the 5,000 tonnes of rice.

Ha, who is also Chairman of the Vietnam Sub-Committee of the Vietnam - Cuba Inter-governmental Committee, said the Party and Government of Vietnam greatly appreciate the timely support of their Cuban counterparts in COVID-19 prevention and control, adding Vietnam is also ready to provide medical supplies as relief aid to support Cuba.

Amid the complexities caused by the global pandemic, countries need to enhance solidarity, cooperation, and preventive measures in order to protect the people's health and ensure socio-economic stability, he said.

The minister also spoke highly of the efficient cooperation between Vietnam and Cuba in the health sector. The two are holding online conferences involving leaders from health ministries and other relevant agencies as well as experts on strategies to fight the COVID-19.

Support in medical supplies and research into vaccines and treatment for COVID-19 patients, as well as other long-term collaboration, were also on the agenda.

Minster Ha voiced his belief that with determination and effort, Vietnam and Cuba will soon overcome the pandemic.

For her part, Rivera said her country greatly appreciates the Vietnamese Government’s support at a time of the global pandemic.

As the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam has demonstrated its willingness to assist other countries on a multilateral basis to the best of its abilities, she added.

The ambassador also highly valued a recent initiative by former Vietnamese students in Cuba to support the country in the face of the pandemic, noting that it shows the long-standing friendship and solidarity of the two peoples, especially as two countries are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic relations this year.

On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for the Cuban Ambassador in Hanoi, noting Vietnam's willingness to bolster cooperation with Cuba so as to boost economic growth in both countries, and to share experiences with Cuba in tackling the COVID-19.

He affirmed that Vietnam will spare no efforts in nurturing the traditional and comprehensive Vietnam-Cuba relations, thereby strengthening the bilateral ties in a practical and effective manner.

In reply, the Cuban ambassador thanked Vietnam for the assistance in the context of trade embargo against Cuba and the global pandemic.

She congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control, adding that Cuba is ready to work with Vietnam in research into the cure for COVID-19 and other pharmaceutical products.

The diplomat expressed her hope that the bilateral ties will be promoted in various spheres after visits of Vietnamese high-ranking leaders to Cuba, adding that technology transfer has contributed to Cuba’s agricultural development./.

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