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Both sides mum during latest round of U.S.-Cuba talks

Both sides mum during latest round of U.S.-Cuba talks
Published March 16, 2015 EFE

Cuba and the United States on Monday in this capital resumed their
dialogue on reestablishing diplomatic relations and opening embassies at
the most closely-guarded meeting the two parties have held since the
historic announcement of the rapprochement between the two nations.

Nothing has been imparted so far about the new meeting between the
delegations, which are much smaller on this occasion and being led by
Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson and the head of the U.S.
desk in the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal.

Neither have there been any contacts with the media during these talks,
according to U.S. officials in Havana.

The latest meeting being held in the Cuban capital is considered to be a
continuation of the second round of talks held in Washington on Feb. 27,
where the parties focused on the technical questions concerning
reopening their respective embassies in each other’s capital, diplomatic
missions that were closed in 1961.

The negotiating teams are working to reopen the embassies as soon as
possible, a step both parties consider to be key in reestablishing
relations and which the United States wants to occur before the April
10-11 Summit of the Americas in Panama.

“It is vital for U.S. foreign policy to come to Panama with something
more than announcements about (Washington’s) relationship with Cuba and
to do everything possible to (arrive) with the issue of the embassies
resolved,” Jorge de Armas, analyst and director of the Cuban Americans
for Engagement organization, which for years has pushed for the
normalization of bilateral relations.

A similar analysis comes from the director of the Cuban Research
Institute at Florida International , Jorge Duany, who believes
that “everything seems to indicate” that the embassies will be opened
before the summit, a forum which the island’s government is attending
for the first time and which promises to be the scene of the Cuban-U.S.
reconciliation with a meeting between Presidents and Barack

The parties are now trying to narrow their differences on technical
questions regarding the opening of the embassies, including the number
of diplomatic personnel, the type of accreditation for the remaining
staff, of movement for those officials and/or restrictions on
the sending of diplomatic pouches.

“These are absolutely solvable problems that stem uniquely from the
principle of reciprocity and respect for sovereignty,” De Armas said.

Parallel to the diplomatic negotiations, groups of experts from both
countries have been in contact earlier this month in Washington
regarding civil aviation and the free circulation of people, and it is
expected that a similar meeting will be held in Havana during the last
week of March to discuss . EFE

Source: Both sides mum during latest round of U.S.-Cuba talks | Fox News
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