HAVANA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The first secretary general of Cuba's Communist Party Raul Castro on Wednesday met with the Vietnamese deputy minister of defense here to strengthen bilateral relations.
According to the text that was broadcast in the NTV evening news, Castro and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh confirmed the "excellent relations of friendship between both parties, governments, peoples and armed forces."
Cuban Defense Minister Leopoldo Cintra Frias and his deputy Alvaro Lopez Miera also attended the meeting together with other high-ranking officers.
Vinh is on an official visit to the island, heading the delegation invited by the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.
Vinh, also a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, has visited Cuba on several occasions. The last visit was in 2016, when he toured entities of economic, political, social and military interests.
The two countries signed a collaboration agreement on defense in 2017, which ends in the current year.
Cuba was the first country in Latin America to establish formal ties with Vietnam on Dec. 2, 1960. The two countries maintain close relations of friendship and cooperation in several areas, as fostered by their former leaders Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh.