EU, Cuba prepare to start negotiations
Published March 18, 2014
Authorities of the European Union and Cuba are actively working to start
official negotiations on a political dialogue and cooperation agreement,
EU sources said Tuesday.
“Both parties are proposing dates, not as a question of tactics but
simply of scheduling,” one source said about the timing of the formal
startup of talks.
EU foreign ministers approved Feb. 10 the mandate to begin negotiating
the first framework accord with Cuba.
“That same day the EU sent a formal invitation saying that we are
prepared to negotiate. They took awhile to answer (March 6), but that’s
normal since they had to consult different government departments,” an
EU official said.
The decision has been taken by consensus to hold the first round of
talks in Havana.
The EU and Cuba hope to hold a round of discussions every two months,
between which they will maintain informal contacts, the EU foreign
service’s top official for the Americas, Christian Leffler, said in an
appearance before the European Parliament.
The European authority recalled that the goal of the accord that the EU
seeks with Cuba “is not fundamentally” to change its policy toward the
island, which will retain its existing objectives of defending and
promoting human rights and encouraging democratic changes, but to find a
The negotiation of the agreement will take place, in any case, with the
“common position” in effect, the unilateral and restrictive policy that
has governed EU relations with Havana since 1996. EFE
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