After seven rounds of talks, negotiations for a bilateral Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the European Union concluded this Friday in Havana.
This is the first bilateral agreement reached between the two parties; however, the document will be officially ratified after both sides have completed their respective consultation processes.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, currently visiting the city, described the date as a historic day for bilateral relations.
The draft agreement was signed by the heads of the negotiating teams, Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abelardo Moreno and Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues at the European External Action Service, Christian Leffler.
The signing took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Havana, in the presence of Mogherini and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, in an act also attended by the ambassadors of EU member countries to Cuba.
Mogherini highlighted that the agreement will contribute to ending the “common position” against Cuba, which can only be lifted by the European Council.
She added that on her return to Brussels she would propose the European Council initiate “parallel” discussions regarding the issue, in order to bring the process to a timely conclusion. The EU official noted that she couldn’t give exact dates, but that the delegation will work quickly and in tandem with the consultation process for the official signing and ratification of the agreement.
She also expressed the willingness of her team to reach a final accord as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, Abelardo Moreno, explained that the agreement includes a preface of a political character, which reaffirms respect for Cuba’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
He highlighted that the main aim of the agreement is to strengthen relations between Cuba and the regional bloc, which includes a chapter addressing political dialogue, another on cooperation and sector policies, and a third relating to trade.