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Diplomatic Ties With Cuba And El Salvador

NZ Establishes Diplomatic Ties With Cuba And El Salvador

The New Zealand Government is appointing its first Ambassador to Cuba and El Salvador as part of its Latin America Strategy, Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff met El Salvador Foreign Minister Mrs Maria Eugenia Brizuela de Avila in New York to sign an Exchange of Notes to establish diplomatic relations. Mrs Brizuela de Avila expressed El Salvador’s delight at the strengthening of the relationship between the two countries.

“A key task when the strategy was launched last year was to review our diplomatic representation in the region and in the process, consult with New Zealand private sector interests. As a result, we have decided to establish new cross-accreditations to Cuba and El Salvador.

“The decision to expand our diplomatic representation in Latin America comes at an important time.

“Provisional figures indicate total New Zealand exports to Latin America increased by an impressive 83 percent in the year to June 2001, from NZ$663m to NZ$1.2b and there’s room for further growth,” Mr Goff said.

Bilateral trade figures are also strong. Exports to El Salvador totalled NZ$106m in the year to June 2001, and exports to Cuba were NZ$81m for the same period. Dairy exports dominate trade with both countries.

“As well as enhancing trade and economic relations, these new cross-accreditations will help sustain our cooperation with Cuba and El Salvador in various regional and multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, and the Forum for East Asia and Latin America Cooperation.

“We’ll also be working to strengthen people-to-people relations with each country under the Latin America Strategy,” Mr Goff said.

Both accreditations will be managed from the New Zealand Embassy in Mexico, which is also accredited to Guatemala and Venezuela. New Zealand’s Ambassador to Mexico, Paul Tipping, will be ambassador also to El Salvador and Cuba.

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