Cuba and EU discuss further cooperation

News from Cuba | Friday, 20 March 2009

Experts from Cuba and the European Union (EU) began a forum on 19 March to discuss further cooperation.

The forum, organized by the Cuban Exterior Commerce and Foreign Investment Ministry, mainly focused on food security, researches, development, commerce, renewable energies, climate change and reduction of catastrophes.

EU commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel, who led the European delegation, praised possibilities of cooperation between the two sides after the political dialogue between the island state and the European bloc has been strengthened.

It was an adequate moment to move ahead towards the normalization of ties between the two sides, Michel said at a press conference.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Cuba would continue the political dialogue with the EU to achieve a full normalization of bilateral relations.

"We are ready to continue discussing the differences with European colleagues on the basis of mutual respect and without interference in the domestic affairs of our country," he said Michel, who arrived in Cuba on Tuesday, has met with Cuban Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas.

The EU froze relations with Havana in 2003 after Cuba jailed 75 dissidents in a political crackdown and executed three men who hijacked a ferry in an attempt to flee to the United States.

The two sides agreed to restore the bilateral cooperation in October 2008.

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