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US, Cuba set for historic talks to normalize ties

US, Cuba set for historic talks to normalize ties
Senior US and Cuban officials will meet over two days in Havana to discuss immigration issues and a roadmap to return ambassadors to each other’s nation, more than half a century after full diplomatic relations broke off in 1961.

The talks in the Cuban capital come five weeks after US President Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro simultaneously made the momentous announcement that their
countries would seek to normalise ties.

Roberta Jacobson, the US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, will head the American delegation while the Cubans will be represented by the foreign ministry’s director for US affairs, Josefina Vidal.

As the two nations get closer, one person has been noticeably quiet and absent: The 88-year-old retired leader Fidel Castro has not reacted publicly to the rapprochement, sparking speculation about his health.

The first day of the talks will center on migration -- an issue that has vexed both nations for decades, with Cubans hopping on rickety boats to traverse 145 kilometers (90 miles) of shark-infested waters to reach Florida.

Then on Thursday, the two sides will discuss the process to reestablish diplomatic relations and bring back their embassies.

Agencies

Agencies

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