EU determined to strike first bilateral accord with Cuba

Brussels, June 11 (IANS/EFE) European Council president Donald Tusk confirmed on Wednesday that the European Union (EU) is determined to finish negotiating its first bilateral agreement with Cuba, equally hoping for the normalisation of relations between Havana and Washington to end the US embargo against the Caribbean island.

“We support the process of modernisation in Cuba and we are committed to concluding negotiations of our political dialogue and cooperation agreement,” Tusk said in his speech at the opening of the summit between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, held in Brussels.

Tusk, the former prime minster of Poland, said the EU expects “full normalisation of Cuba relations with the United States and the end of the embargo” imposed more than 50 years ago by Washington.

“We can do much to help each other to address important challenges we both face, such as reconciling growth with equity, modernising productive structures, generating quality jobs and protecting our environment,” Tusk added.

On the occasion of the Euro-Latin American summit in Brussels, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini held a bilateral meeting with Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Mogherini’s spokesperson Catherine Ray tweeted that the meeting was “good”.

Since last year, the EU and Cuba have been negotiating an agreement regarding political dialogue and cooperation as a framework for their first bilateral relations, while the fourth round of the negotiations will be held on June 15 and 16 in Brussels.

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