Cuban leader Fidel Castro meets visiting Iranian president

HAVANA — Cuban leader Fidel Castro and visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talked about bilateral cooperation and challenges on Monday, according to a government statement.

“In a fraternal exchange, the distinguished visitor expressed satisfaction with his visit to Cuba and made clear his admiration for the struggle, achievements and assistance of the island to other nations,” said the statement.

The two leaders also discussed the “complexity” of the international situation.

“Fidel and Rouhani agreed on the analysis of food production in a world threatened by climate change, the relentless growth of the world population and dangers that threaten the preservation of peace,” it said.

The pair concluded the friendly meeting with a sincere wish for collaboration between Iranian and Cuban people, it added.

Rouhani met with Castro at the latter’s residence in western Havana prior to a meeting with his brother and President, Raul Castro.

Rouhani arrived in the Cuban capital earlier in the day for a short visit to boost economic cooperation between Tehran and Havana.

He kicked off the visit after participating over the weekend in the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela.

The Iranian president will leave for New York on Tuesday morning to participate in the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.