Croatian President Stjepan Mesić met with Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba, the country's one-party parliament.
President Mesić and Alarcon discussed, among other things, international relations, notably the current economic crisis.
At the end of his visit on Friday, President Mesić stated that he was satisfied with the results of his visit and his talks with the highest Cuban officials, expressing hope that the political will for advancing bilateral relations would "transform into concrete programmes and projects".
Croatian President gave a special statement describing his visit to Cuba as historic, hopeful that it would contribute to closer relations between Europe and Cuba. Mesić is the first European statesman to visit that country after a number of years.
Commenting on the unique features of Cuba's social and economic system and differences between that system and those of European countries, President Mesić stressed that "every nation has the right to decide how it will live, it has the right to expect from others respect for itself and its special characteristics, but there is no system that can survive if the people do not want it."
He also expressed hope that "the decades-long blockade of Cuba will finally come to an end", a statement outlined by the Cuban media, saying that since 1997 Croatia had been voting in the UN General Assembly for a resolution calling for the lifting of the US embargo on Cuba.
The Barack Obama Administration has in recent months taken a number of steps to improve relations with Cuba, allowing US citizens of Cuban descent to visit their country and send money to their relatives. The restoration of postal exchange between the two countries has been encouraged, but the USA continues to make the lifting of the embargo conditional on the release of political prisoners and respect for human and civil rights in Cuba.
President Mesić expressed hope that his successor in the post of Croatian president would "be someone who understands the need for and importance of cooperation with countries outside Europe, the so-called Third World countries". He also pointed to the importance of such cooperation in multilateral relations, notably in the United Nations, where he said Croatia was elected to the UN Security Council in 2007 thanks to the votes of the Third World countries.
After his visit to Cuba, President Mesic travels to New York, where he will head a Croatian delegation at the 64th annual session of the UN General Assembly.