Relations between Cuba and the European Union (EU) took a step towards their medium and long term consolidation through agreements reached at the VII session of ministerial political talks between the EU and this country.

With the agreement reached in Havana on March 11 on the text of the Accord on Political Dialogue and Cooperation, both sides accepted that the negotiations ongoing since April 2014, which initiated a consultation process with a view to the approval of a final document, had been concluded.

Relations between Cuba and the European Union (EU) took a step towards their medium and long term consolidation through agreements reached at the VII session of ministerial political talks between the EU and this country.Once in effect, this accord will form the framework for potential development on the basis of respect, reciprocity and mutual benefit of the ties between Cuba, the EU and its 28 member countries.

The talks mark the definitive end of the so-called “Common Position”adopted by the EU in 1996, which linked the terms for bilateral ties and contacts to changes in the political, social and economic system on the Island.

In spite of the conditions considered unacceptable by Havana, Cuba maintained strong cooperation links with some countries and governments that did not submit to the Common Position during this time.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy described the conclusion of the talks as a historic step for bilateral ties and revealed that she would propose a parallel process for the definitive derogation of the restrictive policy.

Mogherini, who is also Vice-President of the European Commission, reiterated her rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the U.S., which she described as both outdated and illegal.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, confirmed that the process had been “rigorous, dynamic and not lacking in complexity” and highlighted a shared willingness to promote the positives, indicating that relations with the EU would continue to be a foreign policy priority for Cuba.

Cuba and the EU previously held six ministerial talks in October 2008, May and November 2009 and June 2010 with the respective six-month presidents of the EU: France, Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain and in February of 2011 with Catherine Ashton, the then High Representative.

The VI session was held in Brussels in April 2015.

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