January 12, 2024
Cambodia and Cuba have reiterated the value they place on their longstanding cooperation, with Cuba reaffirming its commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s development, through the provision of scholarships and medical training.
The appreciation was voiced as outgoing Cuban ambassador to Cambodia Liurka Rodriguez Barrios paid separate visits on Cambodian National Assembly (NA) president Khuon Sudary and Minister of Health Chheang Ra on January 10.
According to an NA statement, Sudary praised the achievements of the ambassador during her mission, noting that she has strengthened the “excellent” relations and cooperation between the two nations.
“During her diplomatic mission in Cambodia, the ambassador participated in several social, political and women’s programmes. Cambodia and Cuba are similar, because women have stood strong, courageously collaborating with men in all sectors, because adversity has made women strong,” said Sudary, the Kingdom’s first woman to hold the NA presidency.
She also praised the Cuban NA, as more than 53 per cent of its members are women, ranking it second in the world behind Rwanda’s parliament, which is 61 per cent female.
“Women MPs are very important in building peace and encouraging sustainable development, inclusiveness and resilience,” she said.
Rodriguez Barrios praised the active participation of Cambodian women in politics, society and the economy.
“Completing my mission in Cambodia is like leaving home, but I am pleased with the success of my time here, and the support and encouragement I received from the government, the NA and especially the Cambodian people,” she said.
She reiterated that Cuba will continue to support Cambodia’s development, especially through the provision of health scholarships for Cambodian students to study in Cuba.
On the same day, the ambassador also met with health minister Chheang Ra.
During the meeting, Ra highlighted Cuba’s contributions to the improvement of Cambodia’s health sector. The island nation sent a team of volunteer doctors to provide care and treatment services to Cambodians in 1979, after the country was liberated from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
“Cuban volunteers have trained Cambodian doctors and medical students, as well as provided human resource development scholarships, ever since,” he said.
The ambassador also reaffirmed Cuba’s strong commitment to continue its cooperation with the health ministry, most notably through the provision of scholarships for general practitioners and the exchange of pharmacology expertise.
She said that at Cambodia’s request, Cuba will send cancer and diabetes specialists to provide training in the Kingdom’s hospitals.
“The health ministry will work with the Cuban embassy to organise a training programme for oncologists at Luong Mer Hospital – the largest cancer hospital in Cambodia – in the near future,” added Ra.