Cuba, US Talking About Future of Bi-lateral Relationship
Cuba and the United States held talks in Washington their 1st meeting on long-term bi-lateral economic ties despite the US-led financial and commercial embargo, said the island country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Both delegations discussed commerce and future investments as well as other issues on economic and financial cooperation,” according to a statement published on the Ministry’s official website.
A year after reestablishing diplomatic relations, both countries held talks on banking and trade issues within the limitations the embargo imposes on Havana.
The US Department of State said the talks covered a wide range of topics, such as air and maritime transport, migration, claims, telecommunications, health and agriculture. Officials from both governments agreed to create working groups on bi-lateral interests.
The progress on rapprochement would require an end to the US sanctions that have hit Cuba for over 50 yrs, said the statement.
“Both countries also examined possible economic cooperation in a post-blockade scenario,” it said.
The US-led economic embargo has caused Cuba financial losses of over $4.6-B in Y 2015.
Instead of lifting the embargo, US President Barack Hussein Obama opted to relax a series of trade sanctions and travel restrictions, as the Republican-controlled Congress has blocked any removal of the embargo.
After declaring a detente last year Cuba and the United States took action to improve relations that were hampered for over 50 years.
Mr. Obama and the Cuban leader Raul Castro have met 3X since their historical announcement to restore ties in December, 2014.