Cuba and USA launching normalisation process

Posted: 17-Sep-15 11:24

Cuba and the USA are formally launching the process of normalising the relationship between these two countries, with diplomats from both countries meeting to set the agenda for further talks.

Cuba and USA launching normalisation process

Diplomats from both Cuba and the USA are meeting on Friday to set the agenda for talks about the topic of normalising the relationship between the two countries. They will be talking about topics ranging from environmental cooperation for American properties confiscated by Cuba.

The top diplomats for the USA will both be present for the meeting. The top Cuban diplomat for the USA has hinted that it is possible that a visit by President Barack Obama to Cuba might take place if the negotiations were successful. If a visit from the President is not possible, at least a visit from a high up member of the White House such as a cabinet secretary or something at an intermediary level.

Small teams of negotiators are meeting on Friday in Havana and they will oversee a series of meetings and talks in both Washington and Havana between diplomats and specialists in technical fields. These discussions will be focused on a new stage in the relationship between Cuba and USA and what the two countries have to look forward to.

Josefina Vidal, the Cuban head of North American Affairs has told reporters in Havana that the agenda has been divided into three different sections. The first will encompass issues where there is a possibility of short term progress, such as combatting drug trafficking and re-establishing a selection of regularly scheduled flights between the nations. The second track of the agenda will be focused on slightly more challenging topics such as human rights. The third incudes complex and longer term issues, such as the return of the US base at Guantanamo Bay.

According to Vidal both sides have seen the start of the process as creating the possibility of a visit from Obama to Cuba. They said that it would be natural for countries with normal relations to receive visits from one another’s leaders – so Obama visiting Cuba should come as a matter of course. In the future this might lead to visits between the leaders of the countries becoming a normal and accepted thing.

The steering committee for Cuba and the USA will be meeting again in Washington in November. The discussions that they had were full and frank, according to the US State Department. Both governments have agreed to concrete steps that will allow them to continue on the path toward normalising their relations.


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