Tags: cuba | us | diplomatic | negotiations

Cuba, US Say Third Round of Diplomatic Negotiations Ends

Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 11:37 AM

A third round of U.S.-Cuban negotiations over the restoration of full diplomatic relations ended after a day of talks, Cuban and U.S. officials said Tuesday. They provided no details on whether progress was made toward a deal on reopening embassies in Washington and Havana.

The two countries have been trying to strike an agreement on embassies before presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 10-11.

Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Relations said the talks took place "in a professional atmosphere" and "the two delegations agreed to maintain communication in the future as part of this process."

Jeff Rathke, a U.S. State Department spokesman, said "the discussion was positive and constructive and was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect."

Neither side said Tuesday whether they had resolved any of the obstacles to reopening embassies in Havana and Washington. The State Department said Friday that topics being discussed at the latest round would include lifting caps on Cuban and U.S. diplomatic staff and limits on their movements outside Havana and Washington.

The secretive atmosphere was striking in contrast to previous discussions about U.S.-Cuban detente. After two earlier meetings, U.S. and Cuban diplomats engaged in wide-ranging exchanges with reporters from both nations that were broadcast on Cuban state television to rapt audiences on the island.

Cuban state media dedicated virtually no coverage to Monday's talks, focusing instead on statements of support for Venezuela in the face of new sanctions by the United States, which declared last week that the South American country was a threat to U.S. national security.

Cuban state television showed Raul Castro arriving in Caracas, Venezuela for a Tuesday summit of left-leaning Latin American countries organized in response to the American sanctions. Cuban state newspapers published a relatively rare and strongly worded front-page letter from former president Fidel Castro, declaring that Venezuela, Cuba's closest ally," will never accept threats and impositions" from the United States.

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A third round of U.S.-Cuban negotiations over the restoration of full diplomatic relations ended after a day of talks, Cuban and U.S. officials said Tuesday.
cuba, us, diplomatic, negotiations
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2015-37-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 11:37 AM
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