HAVANA TIMES — The governments of Cuba and the United States will hold a new round of negotiations on the planned resumption of diplomatic ties on May 21, the Cuban Foreign Ministry and the US State Department both announced on Thursday.
The new round of talks “on the process of restoring diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies” will take place in Washington, reported dpa news.
It will be the fourth bilateral session between the high-level representatives of the Obama and Castro governments since the two countries announced in mid-December a historic agreement to resume diplomatic ties, broken off unilaterally by the US more than a half century ago.
The governments of Cuba and the United States opened the talks in late January in Havana negotiations to reopen embassies in their respective capitals. A month later they held another round of talks in Washington, followed by a meeting held in greater secrecy in Havana in mid-March.
Cuban President Raul Castro said earlier this week that the two countries could “appoint ambassadors” soon after May 29, when Cuba is formally removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
President Obama announced in mid-April that his administration will take Cuba off the “black list” where it has remained since 1982. The measure takes effect 45 days after announced to the US Congress.
The US State Department also issued a statement on Thursday notifying the press that:
“On May 21, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will host a delegation from the Cuban government led by Josefina Vidal, Director General of the U.S. Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Assistant Secretary Jacobson and Director General Vidal will continue discussions on re-establishing diplomatic relations and re-opening embassies. A U.S. Embassy in Havana will allow the United States to more effectively promote our interests and values, and increase engagement with the Cuban people.”