ISLAMABAD - President Arif Alvi has appreciated the Cuban scholarship programme for the Pakistani medical students offered after the October 2005 earthquake.

Talking to Vice President of Cuba Roberto Morales Odeja here on Wednesday, the President noted that the doctors, after graduating from Cuba, are playing a significant role in the health sector of Pakistan.

He said that friendship between Pakistan and Cuba is based on shared ideals of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful co-existence, equality and mutual benefit.

The President apprised the Cuban dignitary on the precarious situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in wake of the unilateral and illegal steps by India to alter the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu & Kashmir.

The President noted that the decades’ old friendship between Pakistan and Cuba was based on the shared ideals of respect for sovereignty, integrity, peaceful co-existence, equality and mutual benefit.

He also recalled the historic visit of revolutionary leader Che Guevara to Pakistan 60 years ago, as well as special contribution of President Fidel Castro to the fortification of Pakistan-Cuba relations.

The President apprised the Cuban dignitary on the precarious situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in wake of the unilateral and illegal steps by India on 5 August to alter the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu & Kashmir.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the just cause of the people of IOJ&K in pursuit of their right of self-determination.

The two sides expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral political relations and agreed on the need to further strengthen them in the economic and business fields.

Several areas including in particular, pharmaceuticals and health services, were identified for priority collaboration. It was also agreed to maintain the momentum through regular high-level exchanges.