December 6, 2021

Cuba and the U.S. list topics to progress on bilateral relations

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Edward Alex Lee (segundo de la izq.), subsecretario adjunto para los Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental del Departamento de Estado, durante la primera reunión de la Comisión Bilateral Cuba - EEUU, realizada en La Habana, 11 de septiembre de 2015.  AIN   FOTO/Minrex/sdl  (Solo para uso editorial y clientes nacionales)

Edward Alex Lee (segundo de la izq.), subsecretario adjunto para los Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental del Departamento de Estado, durante la primera reunión de la Comisión Bilateral Cuba – EEUU, realizada en La Habana, 11 de septiembre de 2015. AIN FOTO/Minrex/sdl (Solo para uso editorial y clientes nacionales)

From acn Cuban News Agency

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 11(acn) Environmental protection and prevention of natural disasters, health, civil aviation, law implementation and enforcement, the struggle against drug trafficking and human trafficking, and transnational crime, are among the top issues that experts from Cuba and the United States will begin to discuss starting from coming weeks.
This was announced by Josefina Vidal, director general of the United States office of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, while speaking with the press following the first meeting of the Bilateral Working Commission announced on August 14 by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Secretary of State John Kerry.
The most important aspect is that today’s meeting with the U.S. delegation was held in a professional, respectful and constructive atmosphere, said the diplomat that headed the Cuban delegation.
In the words of the representative of the Foreign Ministry, an objective agenda with the idea of offering results and medium and short term goals was outlined.
This is the first time that a serious agenda to work together towards the normalization of relations is discussed, since previously there were only bilateral meetings without a roadmap.
He described as organic and structured the new mechanism that will follow up defined topics and will discuss at the level of experts, working groups and commissions.
The Bilateral Commission, which will meet again in November in Washington, will encourage the work of the groups and will give conduction and systematic fashion to the process, explained Josefina Vidal.
The agenda also includes, said Vidal, the development of dialogue on matters of bilateral interest, including those in which the two countries have different conceptions, such as human trafficking and human rights.
Likewise, other topics of multilateral nature will be tackled, such as climate change and the struggle against epidemics, pandemics and other threats to world health.
Other aspects to be addressed will be the search for a solution to pending problems in bilateral relations, such as compensation for the human and economic damages caused to the Cuban people by the policies implemented by different U.S. administrations for over five decades and U.S. properties nationalized in Cuba.
The diplomat said that talking about compensations will be highly complicated, because the expert meetings must begin by clarifying figures, since over 15 years have passed since the last demand presented by Cuba in this regard.
She noted that Cuba spoke today of the interest of including later in this new work mechanism the analysis on reciprocal protection of trademarks and patents, due to the economic importance of this issue so that intellectual property rights are respected.
Vidal said the Cuban delegation at the meeting stressed that lifting the blockade is essential in the current bilateral context and essential to normalize relations.
Cuba reiterated that in order to have normal relations it will be necessary to return to the island the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base, suspend illegal radio and television broadcasts from the United States to Cuba, and eliminate programs aimed at the destabilization and subversion of Cuban constitutional order.
SOURCE: http://www.cubanews.ain.cu/world/3657-cuba-and-the-u-s-list-topics-to-progress-on-bilateral-relations

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