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Fidel Castro to Appear in Parliament for the First Time in Years

This handout picture, released by Cubadebate on 26 Jul 2010, shows Cuban leader Fidel Castro during a ceremony to pay homage to national hero Jose Marti at the Jose Marti Memorial in Havana.

Cuban state media say former President Fidel Castro will appear at a special session of parliament Saturday for the first time since 2006, when he ceded power to his younger brother, Raul.

The reports said Wednesday that the Cuban National Assembly will debate several issues relating to the international situation, but did not elaborate.

The elder Castro said last week that he would ask for such a session to discuss his concerns that a nuclear war involving the United States and Iran will erupt in the near future.

The former president, who turns 84 later this month, has increased his public appearances in recent weeks following a long period of seclusion, resulting from an illness suffered in 2006.

Fidel Castro underwent intestinal surgery that year and turned over power on a provisional basis to his brother, who formally assumed the presidency in February 2008.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.