Cuba, EU discuss bilateral relations during 3rd Joint Council

Havana, May 26 (EFE).- Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Friday discussed various issues concerning bilateral relations in an environment of friendliness, official media reported.

“We discuss the positive results of the 3rd Cuba-EU Joint Council and the significant damage to ties between Cuba and the European Union caused by the US blockade and the inclusion of Cuba in the spurious list of countries that supposedly sponsor terrorism,” Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter.

The Cuban president said that during his conversation with Borrell they noted “the contribution of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (ADPC) to the progress in relations” between the island, the EU and its member states.

In their talks, he underlined “the maturity reached by addressing various issues in a respectful manner, under the principles of reciprocity and equality.”

A state television report said that the president told the EU high representative that his visit to Cuba had a “high significance” and highlighted the historical and cultural ties between his country and Europe as a pillar to facilitate “deepening” of the relationship in different areas.

“I believe that the potential for the future is broad,” Diaz-Canel said, highlighting the way in which cooperation projects with the EU have been maintained and how much they contribute to the country’s economic and social development.

For his part, the EU official stressed on the need for “unity and consensus” within the United Nations to support Cuba in its fight against the economic embargo applied to it by the US government.

He also considered Cuba’s inclusion in the list of countries that, according to the US, sponsor terrorism, as “a barbarity” and that “has no justification.”

At the end of the Cuba-EU council, Borrell declared that he had talked with the Cuban authorities about “political freedoms”,” human rights “and the “situation created, before, during and after” the anti-government protests of July 11, 2021.

“We can’t overlook that we have differences (…) But the EU has neither the capacity nor the will to impose changes in Cuba, but we do want to have a framework for dialog that allows us to talk about everything that unites us and differentiates us without taboos or prohibitions,” said the European diplomatic head.

Cuba and the EU signed the ADPC in December 2016, which has been in force provisionally since Nov.1, 2017 following the rejection of the Lithuanian parliament.

This agreement marked the end of the so-called “common position” of the EU toward Cuba that the Union maintained since 1996, and that linked any progress in bilateral relations to progress in democratization and human rights on the island.

The pact promotes cooperation for sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as the possibility of finding shared solutions to global challenges through joint actions in multilateral forums. EFE


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