US, Cuba hold talks on counter-narcotics cooperation

Washington, Dec 2 (IANS) The US and Cuba discussed cooperation on containing the flow of illegal drugs in Washington, the US State Department said.

“Representatives from the US Department of State, the Drug Enforcement Administration, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the US Coast Guard are meeting with representatives of the Cuban government to discuss ways to stop the illegal flow of narcotics to and from Cuba and the US,” Xinhua quoted State Department spokesman Mark Toner as saying.

During the meeting, the two sides explored ways to enhance cooperation on countering drug trafficking.

It is the second round of counter-narcotics dialogue between Washington and Havana.

After bitter rivalry lasting over half a century, the US and Cuba have reached milestones this summer by restoring diplomatic ties on July 20, 2015.

The two countries later re-opened their embassies in each other’s capitals.

Despite the lull in tensions, Washington continues to maintain a trade embargo on Cuba mandated by the US Congress.

Before ties are fully normalised, Havana demanded the end of the blockade, the return of the territory occupied by the US naval base in Guantanamo, and compensation for the costs caused by decades of economic sanctions.

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