EU, Cuba to hold political dialogue meeting in June
Updated: 2015-04-23 09:32
BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday said EU and Cuba restarted political dialogue and will hold the first meeting in June.
Mogherini made the remarks at the press conference with visiting Cuban Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez Parilla.
Their last meeting of the formal political dialogue took place in 2011.
"We restarted formally our political dialogue even if we have been meeting quite often in these last months," Mogherini said, who paid a visit to Havana last month.
She said the first meeting will take place in Brussels in June, adding that "I am convinced that there are many areas in which the EU and Cuba can have a fruitful cooperation in our mutual interest."
They discussed the follow-up of the Summit of the Americas, the regional development in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the situation in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Ukraine.
Regarding the bilateral relations, Mogherini said the two sides are negotiating a political dialogue and cooperation agreement. "We agreed on having the next round of negotiations in June and to have it followed by other rounds so that we can try to finalise the agreement by the end of the year," she said.
They also agreed to establish a structured human rights dialogue.
Ties between Cuba and the European bloc became strained when the EU adopted the so-called "common position" in 1996, which basically aligned Europe's policy towards Cuba with Washington's.
Cuba is the only Latin American country with which the European bloc has not signed any bilateral agreements.