Resumption of ties depends on US: Cuba

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Havana, Feb 26: Restoring Cuba-US diplomatic ties in time for an upcoming summit in April solely depends on Washington's willingness to create the right conditions.

Deputy Director for US affairs at Cuba's foreign ministry Gustavo Machin on Wednesday indicated removing Cuba from a list of countries alleged to be "sponsors of terrorism" was one of the most important measures.

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"We consider these issues to be important to creating the appropriate setting for re-establishing diplomatic ties and opening embassies," Machin said.

The official, who is set to attend the second round of bilateral talks on Friday in Washington to discuss the reopening of embassies, stressed that the Cuban delegation was heading to the meeting with a "constructive spirit".

Cuba was included in the US State Department terror list in 1982, during the end of the Cold War due to Havana's support to leftist guerrilla movements in Latin America.

The US has expressed its willingness to remove Cuba from the black list, which also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan.

The Organisation of American States (OAS) will be holding a summit from April 10 to 11 in Panama, which will be attended by both the countries.

The two countries announced in December that they agreed to restore diplomatic ties after more than half a century of animosity.

Machin has said that "resuming diplomatic ties" and "normalising the bilateral relationship" are two different things.

"If we are going to speak of normalising ties, the first thing to do would be to lift the blockade," he said, referring to the US-led trade embargo against Cuba.

IANS

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