US President Obama to meet Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on Saturday

Posted By: Jagriti
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Panama City, April 11: US President Barack Obama is set to meet his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on Saturday on the sidelines of seventh Organisation of American States (OAS) Summit underway in Panama.

The two-day meeting includes all 35 heads of state from North, Central and South America.

The last high-level meeting between US and Cuba took place in 1959, when Fidel Castro met then Vice-President Richard Nixon. Diplomatic relations were badly hit between both the countries in 1961.

Obama to meet Castro on Saturday

This summit is the first which Cuba will attend and much of the attention will be focused on the body language between the former foes.

This will be the first such meeting between leaders of the two nations in more than five decades. Both the countries announced in December last year to restore diplomatic ties.

Both the leaders met informally on Friday during the dinner, Washington Post reported.

Read More: US Secretary of State John Kerry meets Cuban foreign minister

A White House official was quoted as saying "It was an informal interaction and there was not a substantive conversation." They have met face to face only once before - a handshake at Nelson Mandela's funeral in South Africa in December 2013.

A high level meeting was held between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday.

Cuba was among the 20 founding member states of the OAS that originally participated in the 1948 Bogotá conference.

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