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Cuba, Canada Reaffirm Solidarity and Friendship

Havana, February 15 (RHC)-- The 16th International Seminar on Canadian Studies opened sessions Tuesday at the University of Havana with the participation of Canadian Ambassador Patrick Parisot and the President of the Cuban Center for Canadian Studies Beatriz Díaz.

In her opening remarks, the Cuban scholar said the event, which runs through Thursday, aims to upgrade academic collaboration between the two countries.

Participants in this year's seminar include renowned Canadian intellectuals, among them writer and essayist Thomas King and his wife Helen Hoy, scholars Wayde Compton, Christy Jordan Fenton and Karen Dubinsky, as well as senior officials from Cuba's Foreign Ministry, students and professors from Cuba's Higher Institute for Foreign Relations, the Havana-based Enrique José Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences and the Nova Scotia Dalhousie University.

Ambassador Parisot said the seminar reflects the importance both countries grant to bilateral friendship ties.

The Canadian ambassador praised the level of exchanges between Canadian and Cuban university students under existing cooperation programs in the field and also thanked Cuban authorities for having Canada as guest country of honor at this year's book fair.

Elio Rodríguez Perdomo, Director for Canadian and European Affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry noted that Canada is the main market of tourists to Cuba, and one of the country's top trade partners and sources of foreign direct investment.

In that sense, he said Cuba wants expanded and strengthened relations with Canada in areas of common interest, and mentioned the environment, climate change, mining, energy, tourism, culture and knowledge.

First organized in 2000, the International Seminar on Canadian Studies is held annually at the University of Havana, with sponsorship by the Canadian Embassy in coordination with the Cuban Foreign Ministry and the Cuban Higher Education Ministry.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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