News and Facts about Cuba

EU-Cuba talks turn to delicate issues

-Cuba talks turn to delicate issues

Havana (AFP) – The and Cuba opened a new round of talks
on normalizing ties Wednesday in Havana, taking on the sensitive
subjects of politics and .

Cuban state media said the two sides were expected to “conclude
negotiations on cooperation and trade and open discussions on political
dialogue” during the two-day talks.

The EU suspended relations with Cuba in 2003 over a crackdown on
journalists and activists.

It began talks on restoring them in April 2014, aiming to persuade
Havana to improve its rights record.

The two sides have moved to accelerate the process since Cuba and the
United States announced a historic rapprochement in December and
reopened embassies in July.

Brussels and Havana have now set themselves a deadline of December 31.

View gallery
The fifth round of negotiations towards a political dialogue and
cooperation between the European Un …
But a high-ranking European official told AFP last week that the
deadline would be hard to meet, despite progress on trade and economic
issues.

The thorniest question remains human rights, European officials said
after the previous round of talks, in June.

“Our differences aren’t new and we didn’t just discover them in June. We
agree on a lot of points, but on other issues we are so far agreeing to
disagree,” the EU’s top diplomat in Cuba, Herman Portocarero, told AFP.

He said he hoped to “find the right formulations and vocabulary for a
framework deal that will allow for evolving positions.”

Cuba wants the EU to scrap its nearly 20-year “common position,” which
makes restoring European ties with the island contingent on democratic
reforms.

The 28-member bloc for its part is pressing Cuba to sign a slate of
international human rights treaties.

Source: EU-Cuba talks turn to delicate issues – Yahoo News –
http://news.yahoo.com/eu-cuba-talks-turn-delicate-issues-204631474.html

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