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Cuba says normalizing US ties possible only after unilateral sanctions policy ends

January 21, 2015, 8:53 UTC+3 HAVANA
The two countries are due to hold a constructive dialogue based on mutual respect and the rules of the international law, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry has said ahead of Wednesday’s historic Cuba-US talks
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© ЕРА/ALEJANDRO ERNESTO

HAVANA, January 21. /TASS/. Cuba and the United States will be able to normalize relations only after Washington ends its unilateral sanctions policy, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry has said ahead of Wednesday’s historic Cuba-US talks.

“The normalization of bilateral ties will become possible only after the end of a unilateral sanctions policy which has caused a significant material and humanitarian damage to the people of Cuba,” a Foreign Ministry official said.

Over the two days, Cuba and the US are due to hold a “constructive dialogue based on mutual respect and the rules of the international law,” the diplomat said in a statement.

“We are ready to launch a serious exchange of views between sovereign states with due compliance with the principles of non-interference in domestic affairs and the respect for the national sovereignty of the two nations,” the statement reads.

Restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US

US President Barack Obama on December 17 ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba. The US leader admitted that the sanctions against Cuba, which Washington imposed more than 50 years ago, did not bring about the desired impact.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry said Obama’s announcement is “a step in a right direction” although the issue of lifting Washington’s “economic, trade and financial blockade” remains unsolved.

“The contacts on the issue of restoring diplomatic ties are aimed at exchanging views on the basis and legal aspects, on which this process should rely, and also at coordinating actions of both governments,” the statement says.

The diplomat said Cuba is ready to consider any issues of “mutual interest,” including the fight against drug trafficking, illegal migration, response to natural disasters and environmental pollution.

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