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International (Forat) -Cuba and the European Union (EU) continue to build a framework towards a bilateral political dialogue and cooperation agreement that will allow the bloc and Havana to end years of tense political relations and usher in a new era.
The fifth round of EU-Cuba talks ended here on Thursday and the three main issues of political dialogue, cooperation and trade were discussed between the two sides.
According to Abelardo Moreno, Cuban deputy foreign minister who headed the talks on this occasion, both parts were dedicated to reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, Christian Leffler, director general for the Americas of the EU, added that both sides were committed to deepening the dialogue and moving rapidly towards the conclusion of an agreement.
"With the progress we have made in these two days we are on track to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the issues of cooperation in the coming months and the next rounds," said Leffler in a press conference.
In the next meeting, the parties will review the first part of the document of the future bilateral agreement and begin to negotiate the final provisions which include the implementation of any agreement.
Negotiators from Cuba and the EU agreed that at the next round of talks, differences on trade and cooperation should come to an end, and that the talks should also aim to close the gap on the political dialogue.
"There aren't any differences just diverse perspectives. Both parties agree that democracy is a decision of the peoples according to their historical experiences, cultures and policies, among other issues," said the Cuban deputy foreign minister.
According to Raynier Pellon, an academic at the University of Havana's research center on Europe, the talks are intended to close the gap on issues that separated them in the past.
"The EU is aware that hostility and imposition are not the right path to follow in its political ties with Cuba but rather respect and cooperation should be the base for a new relation," Pellon told Xinhua.
In 1996, right-wing European governments established what is known as the "Common Position" which isolated Havana in its links with EU nations due to alleged human rights abuses.
In 2003, the EU froze relations with the island after a crackdown on opposition groups.
Early last year, the EU began normalization talks as Washington also moved to restore links with Havana after more than 50 years of hostility./End/
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