UN's Ban hails Obama for "courageous" Cuba move – Daily Mail



17:48 EST, 20 December 2014

17:48 EST, 20 December 2014

BAMAKO, Dec 20 (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon praised U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday for what
he called courage and vision in renewing ties with Cuba and
said he had asked Washington to pursue such a course.

Cuban President Raul Castro also demonstrated leadership in
reciprocating the opening, Ban said.

Obama announced on Wednesday that the United States would
renew diplomatic relations it severed 50 years ago, and expand
commercial ties with the communist-ruled island. The move has
been criticized by a string of Republican lawmakers but welcomed
abroad, including by the European Union.

“I highly commend President Obama’s very courageous
visionary decision to address this issue. At the same time I
really appreciate President Raul Castro. He has shown great
humanity and leadership this time,” Ban told Reuters.

Ban visited Cuba earlier this year and said he had been
trying to advocate for an opening with Cuba to authorities in
Washington over the issue.

“I am very glad that they have finally decided to agree,”
said Ban.

He also praised Cuba’s humanity in sending hundreds of
healthcare workers to West Africa to fight the worst outbreak of
the Ebola virus on record. The U.N. chief was speaking in Mali
during a trip to West Africa aimed at thanking healthcare
workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic.

(Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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