Published on 8 March 2016 by Granma
According to Christian Leffler, head of the Department for Relations with North and South America in the European External Action Service (EEAS), "once a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement has been reached between Cuba and the European Union (EU), there would be no sense in maintaining the regional bloc’s Common Position adopted in 1996."
During a press conference following the seventh round of conversations between the two parties, the representative heading the European delegation reported that trade and commercial cooperation were addressed during this most recent session, while the issue of political dialogue and sector policies were also discussed in depth.
He noted that the talks took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere, reflecting the willingness of both Brussels and Havana to make significant progress towards reaching a final agreement. Leffler also highlighted that the agreement will help to promote dialogue and cooperation as well as strengthen relations between both parties over the coming years.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Abelardo Moreno Fernández, revealed that the draft agreement document is currently at an advanced stage of development and now requires the relevant political verifications.
The agreement regulates the entirety of relations between Cuba and the European Union. It also aims to strengthen relations between the two parties, accompany Cuba in the process of updating its economic model and establish a dialogue which would lead to enhanced cooperation, he stated.
Responding to a question regarding the two parties’ differing attitudes toward human rights, he noted that both agreed on their full commitment to protect and promote all human rights.
Moreno also noted that the seventh ministerial level political dialogue session between Cuba and the EU will take place March 11. On this occasion the meeting will be presided by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuban minister of Foreign Affairs.