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Cuba, U.S. Meet Next Week, May Announce Embassy Opening Dates

Cuba and the U.S. are scheduling another round of high-level talks in Washington, D.C. next week, the U.S. State Department confirmed Thursday.

"We have been planning for a meeting next week," said State Dept. Acting Deputy Spokesperson Jeff Rathke to reporters. "We don't have an announcement of specific dates right now, but we will make an announcement on the date when both sides have confirmed."

Cuba's Foreign Ministry confirmed to NBC News that the countries hope to be able to announce the dates for the opening of embassies following the meeting.

The talks will once again be led by two women: Roberta Jacobson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, general director of Cuba's U.S. Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In an interview with AFP, Havana's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Padilla said the two countries had made "considerable" progress regarding allowing the Cuban diplomatic mission to open a bank account in Washington, D.C. which has not been allowed in the past due to the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

On Tuesday Cuban president Raul Castro told reporters that Cuba and the U.S. will name ambassadors to each other's countries after the island is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism later this month.

Following the negotiations, the plans are for the Cuban embassy in D.C. to open first, followed by the opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana, NBC News has learned.


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