Speaker meets Algeria, Cuba counterparts ahead of Geingob burial

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Speaker meets Algeria, Cuba counterparts ahead of Geingob burial
Speaker meets Algeria, Cuba counterparts ahead of Geingob burial

Africa-Press – Namibia. Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, and his Algerian counterpart Brahim Boughali have reiterated that the two countries not only shared historic ties dating back to the days of the struggle for independence, but that they are committed to world peace and seeing an end to the killings of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel, and the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

The president of the People’s National Assembly of Algeria paid a courtesy call on Katjavivi last week, and was among several world leaders who attended the funeral of president Dr. Hage Geingob on Sunday.

The two Speakers discussed several issues, with Boughali further thanking Namibia for its support as Algeria assumed its non-permanent seat as a member of the United Nations Security Council. Algeria, which began its two-year term earlier this year, has already sought UN action on the enforcement of the recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling regarding Israel. Namibia, on the other hand, made a presentation at The Hague, Netherlands on Friday in the case of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Katjavivi recounted during the meeting the historical ties between the two countries, adding that bilateral relations needed to be expanded to other sectors of the economy. “The camaraderie was established during Namibia’s struggle for independence, with Algeria providing crucial support to Swapo. Since 1990, the two countries have continued to enjoy warm relations. We need to extend our cooperation to other sectors, one of which is our agenda to promote renewable energy,” he noted.

Parliamentary cooperation

While honouring the memory of the late president, the Algerian Speaker shared similar sentiments about expanding ties between Algeria and Namibia, adding that his country was undergoing economic reforms which would culminate in a knowledge-based economy, and that it was looking forward to cooperating with Namibia. He revealed that the Algerian parliament has already created a Namibian parliamentary friendship group, and was looking forward to Namibia reciprocating this gesture.

Meeting with Cuban Speaker

President of the Cuba National Assembly of the People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernández, also visited Katjavivi ahead of the national memorial service of the late president on Friday.

The two expounded on areas of further cooperation between the two countries, with Hernández proposing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parliaments to cooperate on issues related to housing, agriculture and health, among many others.

Katjavivi welcomed the idea of an MoU, noting that it would serve as an instrument to propel the existing relations to greater heights.

The Cuban Speaker also thanked Namibia for its continued call to lift the protracted embargo which has adversely affected Cuba’s economy, resulting in constant shortages of food and other essentials such as oil. Cuba has also been unfairly put on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, which has exacerbated matters even further.

Katjavivi, towards the end of last year, promised to table a motion in the Namibian Parliament to call for the lifting of the embargo against Cuba. The embargo against Cuba, which is restricting the flow of goods to the Caribbean island nation, has been in place for nearly 60 years.

Cuba and Namibia’s relations date back to the time of the Namibian liberation struggle, when Cuba offered political, military and diplomatic support to Swapo. Cooperation between the two countries has continued post-independence, with Cuba assisting Namibia with Cuban professionals in various fields. Cuba has also trained many Namibians as doctors and in other professions.

*George Sanzila works in the Division: Research, Information, Publications and Editorial Services at the National Assembly.

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