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New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Union Minister of State, Meenakashi Lekhi said that India and Cuba should further elevate their age-old friendship and work together on alliances like Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Global Biofuel Alliance.

She made the remarks during a program to celebrate 50 years of the visit of former Cuban President Fidel Castro to India.

"Glad to participate in a special event commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Fidel Castro's historic visit to India. Delivered my keynote address on "India-Cuba Relations: Present Trajectory and Way Forward" and emphasized the role of our Developmental Partnership and people-to-people ties in furthering our bilateral cooperation," Lekhi posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Speaking to the reporters, Meenakashi Lekhi said,"This program was arranged today to celebrate 50 years of Fidel Castro's visit to India and the occasion was handing over the presidency of the Non-Aligned movement to India".

Citing the global challenges, the Union MoS invited Cuba to become a part of the Global Biofuel Alliance as well as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

"Today, the challenges the world is facing are sustainable development, climate change, green energy, renewable energy systems. Cuba is already part of the International Solar Alliance, but I also look forward to them being a part of the Biofuel Alliance...the Cuban scientists can come forward andwork with the Indian scientists. The other aspect we can work on is the CDRI, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure," Lekhi added.

She also recalled how after Fidel Castro's initiative, Moringa plants became a symbol of India-Cuba friendship.

"Our age-old friendship, the seeds of which were sown 50 years ago. Fidel casstrro asked the scientists to study the impact of Moringa, and Moringa plants became a symbol of India's friendship with Cuba...The world is coming back to using AYUSH and traditional medicines. We have done it for many many years. Indians have been using it for thousands of years, but the scientific backing came from Cuba," she said.

The Global Biofuel Alliance, was launched on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi. The initiative taken up by India as the chair of G20 this year strongly calls for the utilization of sustainable biofuels.

The Alliance intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels by facilitating technology advancements, and intensifying the utilization of sustainable biofuels.

On the other hand, the CDRI was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019, in New York. It is a major global initiative launched by the Government of India and is seen as India's attempt to obtain a global leadership role in climate change and disaster resilience matters. (ANI)

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