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First Round Of Talks With Cuba 'Positive And Productive'

The first round of talks between Cuba and the U.S. have been "positive and productive," according to the top U.S. official in Havana.

Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said the two countries made "further steps" in the efforts to normalize relations, which she described as a continuing process.

"I think what you have to recognize is that we have as our presidents have taken this step to overcome over 50 years a relationship which was not based on confidence or trust," said Jacobson. She said the issue of human rights is central to the conversations and was discussed in the meeting.

Josefina Vidal, who headed the Cuban delegation, said lifting the embargo was essential, as well as taking Cuba off the list of terrorist countries.

"Still despite the profound differences it is possible for both nations to conduct business in a civilized manner," said Vidal. She said all parties agreed to continue conversations at a forthcoming date, probably in the coming weeks.


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