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Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced the renewal of an agreement between New Zealand and Cuba that will boost medical assistance in Pacific countries.

The Cooperation Arrangement was first signed between New Zealand and Cuba in 2015 and enables Cuban doctors to receive language training in New Zealand before providing medical services in the Pacific Islands.

Mr Brownlee says the agreement – funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme – has been renewed for three more years.

“New Zealand and Cuba have a shared interest in the Pacific and extending this agreement between our two nations demonstrates our ongoing commitment to small island developing states,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Since 2015, the arrangement has delivered positive results in the Pacific and renewing it will allow New Zealand to provide 18 weeks of language training for up to five Cuban medical personnel per year.

“I look forward to seeing further progress take place in this area,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mr Brownlee is currently in Cuba to meet with his counterpart, before travelling to Colombia for the Pacific Alliance Summit.    

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