EU, Cuba make “substantial progress” toward accord
Published August 28, 2014 EFE
The European Union and Cuba have made “substantial progress” in the
second round of negotiations toward a bilateral accord and they will
hold a third round at the end of this year, the EU’s top diplomat for
the Americas said here Thursday.
“We have met with a very well-prepared Cuban team who came to Brussels
with a constructive spirit of compromise, something that allowed us to
make substantial progress in narrowing our positions to arrive at a
common vision on how the chapter of cooperation should be,” said
“We have a clear conviction of what the general structure must be …
the different areas of dialogue on policies and interaction and those
(where) potential compromise (can be achieved),” he said at a press
conference following two days of talks.
The Cuban government, meanwhile, said in a communique that the
negotiation process was evolving “normally” and that the exchanges with
the EU “developed in a constructive manner.”
Cooperation is one of the three pillars that will comprise the first
bilateral agreement between Cuba and the EU, along with political and
institutional matters and trade.
The European negotiators on Thursday made a presentation on what the
main areas of trade cooperation and investment facilitation might be, a
point that Leffler said will not be the most complex area in which to
He said that this matter will be discussed again, along with “more
sensitive political questions,” in the third round of talks, which will
be held in Havana toward the end of the year, although the issues that
will be discussed still have not been agreed upon.
Until them, both parties will maintain their informal technical contacts
to continue moving forward on the agreement.
“The Cuban side is clear and in agreement that the accord must
facilitate cooperation among all the actors of Cuba and the EU,
including civil society,” Leffler said. EFE
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