Cuba agrees to resume migration talks with the US

Cuba has agreed to resume migration talks with the United States, five years after former president George W. Bush suspended them. The communist nation also agreed to discuss a direct mail service.


AFP - Cuba has agreed to resume talks with the United States on migration and direct mail, a US official said here Sunday, as tense ties continue to thaw under President Barack Obama's administration.

The announcement came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to travel to the Organization of American States general assembly in Honduras, where Washington and its southern neighbors are caught in a row over the pace of normalization with Cuba.

The Cuban government informed Washington on Saturday that it "would like to resume migration talks.... (and) engage in talks on direct mail service," the senior State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

But he said the two governments still have to decide on a time and place.

US officials said May 23 that the Obama administration had proposed to resume the discussions on the thorny issue, which had been conducted every two years until they were suspended in 2003 by former president George W. Bush.

The official called the moves a "very positive development and step forward" as the Obama administration pursues engagement with Cuba, which has been under a decades-old US embargo.

The official said the Cubans "also indicated they would like to explore areas of additional dialogue," such as in the area of counternarcotics, counter terrorism, hurricane and disaster preparedness response.

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