US/Cuba discussions continue

| 01/03/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): On Friday the US and Cuba met for a second round of diplomatic talks to discuss how they can overcome five decades of hostility and suspicion, and move forward with restoring the countries’ ties. Washington severed diplomatic relations with Cuba 54 years ago and the current restorations could impact tourism elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Roberta Jacobson, US Assistant Secretary of State, and Josefina Vidal, Chief of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s US division headed the delegations discussion on Friday.

The one-day talk stems from the decision announced 17 December last year to work to normalise relations, including opening embassies in each other’s countries, and to exchange prisoners.

On Friday Communist-run Cuba pressed the United States to remove it from its terrorism list before official restoration of diplomatic ties can begin. Cuba claims US sanctions on banks that do business with designated countries impede it from conducting diplomatic affairs in the United States.

While recognizing the banking problem, US officials said the talks should stick to standard issues regulating embassy functions. Washington is calling for US diplomats to be able to move freely around Cuba and meet whom they please, including political dissidents.

In January, the first initial meeting was held in Havana, with Cuba pushing to be removed from a US list of state sponsors of terrorism. However, Washington said the designation should not be linked to the negotiations on opening embassies.

The United States is hoping to reach agreement on reopening embassies in time for an April 10-11 regional heads of state summit in Panama. US President Barack Obama is due to attend the Summit of the Americas, which Cuban President Raul Castro will also attend for the first time.

CNs Business

US and Cuban diplomats seek to improve relations

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Category: Tourism

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