Chinese President Hu Jintao met with ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro for a lengthy conversation during his visit to Havana, state media said Tuesday.
The 82-year-old Castro has not been seen in public since July 2006, after which he handed his title of president to his younger brother Raul. Official photos released from their meeting show a thinner-looking Fidel, dressed in a red and black track suit, clasping Hu's hands with both of his hands.
"I see in person that you have recovered and have been energetic, so I feel very pleased," the official Xinhua News Agency reported Hu told Castro.
Castro replied: "We are old friends. I am happy to see that you are as energetic as when I met you last time."
During their conversation, Hu noted that Castro ordered a medical team sent to China after the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province. Castro also made repeated phone calls to offer instructions on the team's work in China, Hu added.