Cuba, EU conclude fifth round of talks

Havana, Sep 11 (IANS) Cuba and the European Union (EU) made progress on their talks about enhancing cooperation, trade and political dialogues, one of the negotiators said.

“The fifth round of dialogue between Cuba and the EU to reach the agreement on political dialogue and cooperation was concluded,” Xinhua quoted Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno as saying on Thursday after concluding the fifth round of talks.

Both parties worked in a “respectful and professional way”, Moreno said.

The sides agreed to meet again in November in Brussels, expecting to conclude some small issues still pending on the cooperation between them.

The delegations mulled their political dialogue and identified key issues to be discussed such as human rights, anti-discrimination campaign, and the fight against small or light weapon trafficking, Moreno said.

“We have different approaches on human rights, immigration, and disarmament, but both sides agreed that democracy is decided upon by each country, in accordance with its historical, cultural and political experiences among other factors,” he said.

Moreno said Cuba and the EU converged on issues related to the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, terrorism and human trafficking, as well as on the topics of the right to education, health, employment, energy, transport and social protection.

“There is an endless list of items that may allow us to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation,” said the deputy minister.

Cuba is the only Latin American country that does not have a political dialogue agreement with the EU.

Negotiations between Cuba and the EU for the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement began in Havana on April 29, 2014.

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