Senator: Next round of US-Cuba talks next week
BY MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/17/2015 10:02 AM 02/17/2015 10:02 AM
A new round of negotiations to restore full diplomatic ties with Cuba
will take place next week in Washington, according to a delegation of
U.S. senators who said they were hopeful the two sides would reach a
Mark Warner of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Amy Klobuchar
of Minnesota made their first trip to Cuba over the weekend in support
of a bill Klobuchar is sponsoring to lift the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.
Teams of negotiators led by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta
Jacobson and Cuba’s top diplomat for U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, are
working to resolve Cuban demands that include the easing of banking
restrictions on its diplomats in the U.S. and limits on U.S. support for
dissident groups that Cuba considers illegal.
The U.S. wants Cuba to eliminate some of the heavy security cordon
around its interests section in Havana and allow unrestricted travel for
its diplomats in Cuba, among other demands.
“We look with hope and expectations to the meetings next week in
Washington between the Cuban government and the American State
Department to make progress,” Warner told reporters in Havana on Tuesday.
He did not say if he expected the pending issues to all be resolved in
the coming round of talks but told a large group of reporters, most from
Cuban state media, that diplomats often moved more slowly than
politicians want. The next three to six months are a key window for
progress in the normalization of ties between Cuba and the U.S., he said.
“Frankly I’m optimistic because the negotiators are two women and we
know how to get things done,” McCaskill said.
“We don’t think any of these things are going to stall out the ability
to get full diplomatic relations, hopefully soon.”
Source: Senator: Next round of US-Cuba talks next week | The Miami
Herald The Miami Herald –