Monday, September 11, 2006

Castro may be present during all NAM deliberations

The Hindu News Update Service

Monday, September 11, 2006 : 1720 Hrs

Havana, Sept. 11 (PTI): Cuban President Fidel Castro, who is recuperating from an intestinal surgery, will be officially heading his country's delegation to the two-day NAM Summit beginning here on September 15 but may not be physically present during all it deliberations, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

"While we cannot state categorically that the President will be physically present during the workings of the Summit, we can confirm that he has followed all details and the organisation for the event, and is in constant communication with the nation's leadership," he told newsmen here.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be leading the Indian delegation to the Summit.

Perez Roque said second-in-command is First Vice President Raul Castro to whom the President provisionally delegated his functions of leading the country on July 31 for health reasons, according to Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.

He said President Castro received some of the foreign dignitaries, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who are attending the NAM meeting.

The Cuban Minister said that the President would not be present at all of the NAM Summit debates as he "is fulfilling with discipline the prescriptions of the physicians in order to completely recover his health".

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