Brussels will host the upcoming session of the dialogue started last April between delegations of Cuba and the European Union, which so far has been marked by optimism and progress, according to the parties involved in it.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX) hosted the fifth bilateral meeting on a political dialogue and cooperation agreement between the two sides, in a climate of respect and professionalism, the heads of the delegations said.

In referring to the dialogue held in September, the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno stated that the reasons for boosting and further increasing Cuba-EU cooperation are countless.

We have been gradually reaching progress in some of the key topics of the agreement, which consists of three parts: cooperation, trade, and political dialogue, the deputy minister explained.

This time, the parties practically finished analyzing the key elements concerning the trade issue, said Moreno.

Brussels will host the upcoming session of the dialogue started last April between delegations of Cuba and the European Union, which so far has been marked by optimism and progress, according to the parties involved in it.Progress has been reached on the cooperation issue and only the details need to be polished, he added.

A thorough analysis on the political dialogue has begun already, and the main topics of that part have been identified, as are the cases of the fight against discrimination, human rights, and arms trafficking, he said.

The results have met expectations, because the topics that concern both the European Union and Cuba are included in the talks.

The approaches to address many aspects are different, but the parties have been reaching a consensus as the talks develop, the deputy foreign minister commented.

There have been no disagreements but different approaches with regard to some topics like human rights, migration, and some aspects on disarmament, stressed Moreno.

The two parties agree that democracy is a choice of the people, based on their historic, cultural and political experiences, he sustained.

“We also agree on topics related to drug-trafficking, money laundering, corruption, terrorism, and human trafficking, as well as the right to education, public health, employment, energy, transport, and welfare, among others.

Meanwhile, the managing director for the Americas at the European Foreign Action Service, Christian Leffler, said the commitment and climate exist for negotiating with Cuba.

Leffer made it clear that the process is complex, but noted that a global understanding is expected to be reached in the upcoming meeting because of the fruitful preparatory efforts.

“We are at another level and look for a solid framework to strengthen Cuba-EU relations in the coming 20 years”, he said.

“We are making good progress and even though the common European stance dates back to 18 years, the current Cuban scenario is different and we want to further improve cooperation with the Caribbean island,” highlighted Leffer.

There are many complex issues and it is necessary to reach understanding, chiefly on topics with different interpretations, he noted.

The European Union, Leffer recalled, cooperates through dialogue, establishing links and by gradually building confidence.

“This is a long-term complex work but by no means are we trying to impose a perfect European model or discourse; we are just trying to create a solid framework for the dialogue, hence strengthening cooperation with Cuba,” he noted.

The sixth bilateral round for reaching consensus on a political dialogue and cooperation agreement between the delegations of Cuba and the EU will be held in Brussels in the last two weeks of November.

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