HAVANA.- At their close in Havana, the Cuban Foreign Ministry announced that substantial progress had been made at the VII round of the negotiations that commenced in April 2014 between Cuba and the E.U., for the establishment of a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Accord between both sides.
According to Cuba’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the two sides have advanced significantly in the convention of all components of the aforementioned instrument. He added that “the document, subject to the requisite political verifications, now only lacked certain clarifications”.
The experienced diplomat explained that the document’s preamble is political in nature, in that it reaffirms Cuba’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and proclaims the European Union’s opposition to coercive extra-territorial measures, such as the economic blockade imposed for more than half a century on the Island by the U.S.
The principal purpose of the accord, which includes chapters dedicated to political dialogue and cooperation, trade and commercial cooperation and sectoral policies, is to strengthen Havana’s relations with the Community.
Referring to the political talks, the Deputy Minister outlined that different points of focus on certain topics, critical issues such as migration and above all, on the readmission to Cuba of citizens illegally in E.U. countries, had existed throughout the talks.
In answer to a question about differences on the issue of human rights, Moreno said that the two sides had agreed on commitments to protect and promote all such rights contained in the international instruments of which both are part.
The Deputy Minister added that the deal reached encapsulated the principles of reciprocity, full respect for the equal sovereignty of the two States, the legal frameworks and institutional orders of the parties and full adherence to noninterference in the internal affairs of the nations.
Christian Leffler, chief negotiator for the European Union team, indicated that once established, the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Accord between the two sides would supercede the so called “Common Position”.
The Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Affairs of the European External Action Service added that talks to attain a bilateral framework are being held independently of this Common Position.
The Common Position – a restrictive policy on interactions with the Island agreed in 1996 and still in effect - has meant that Cuba is one of very few countries that does not have an accord of this type with the E.U.
During the round of negotiations recently concluded, Leffler said that the details of the chapters on political dialogue and cooperation, sectoral policy and other aspects, had been discussed.
The European representative added that the talks had taken place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere that reflected the willingness of both sides to make fast and substantial progress towards their future conclusion.Share on FB Share on TT