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Cuba and United States draw up roadmap for talks to deepen detente

Cuba and United States draw up roadmap for talks to deepen detente

Cuba and the United States aim to reach new agreements on cooperation in
law enforcement, health and agriculture over the coming months, a senior
Cuban official said on Monday, as part of the former Cold War foes’
drive to normalize ties.

The Communist-ruled island and its northern neighbor reestablished
diplomatic relations a year ago after decades of hostility and have
since signed deals on the environment, postal services and direct flights.

A bilateral commission met on Monday in Havana to establish a roadmap
for talks over the rest of this year, which would include more
high-ranking official visits, said Josefina Vidal, head of the Cuban
delegation.

In March, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president in 88
years to visit Cuba.

“The agenda is quite ambitious,” Vidal told a news conference, adding
that talks about intellectual property rights were also in the cards.

The two sides had discussed holding dialogues on human rights and
claims, the U.S. embassy in Cuba said in a statement.

They already outlined their respective claims late last year, with the
U.S. seeking upwards of $10 billion in compensation for nationalized
properties and Cuba demanding at least $121 billion in reparations for
the U.S. trade embargo and other acts it described as aggression.

“The United States looks forward to holding these meetings in the near
future,” the embassy said. “Tomorrow (we) will discuss specific steps
related to bilateral security during the law enforcement dialogue.”

Vidal, who is the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, said
the island was hopeful that whomever became next the U.S. president
would continue to deepen the detente. The United States will hold a
general election on Nov.8.

“When you look at the polls, the majority of the American population and
the Cuban American community are in favor of the normalization of
relations,” she said. “So I expect their opinion will be taken into
account.”

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

Source: Cuba and United States draw up roadmap for talks to deepen
detente | Reuters – www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-idUSKCN0Y72FL

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