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HAVANA, Feb 23.- Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Rogelio Sierra, and Germany”s Maria Bohmer, revealed in Havana the good state of the political and commercial relations between the two countries, it was reported here today. Read more

Mohammad Javad Zarif,Bruno Rodriguez

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, talks to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, right, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Iran’s foreign minister begun a Latin American tour in Cuba, declaring Iran and Cuba united by their histories of resisting what he called U.S. atrocities. Zarif also plans to visit Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA, August 24th  Cuba says US sanctions on the Latin American country and Iran have opened a common ground for the two countries to forge special trade ties.
On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Havana where he met Cuban leaders, including President Raul Castro in what they described a new chapter in bilateral ties, PressTV reported.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Malmierca Diaz described Iran an “important partner” with a capacity to help his country enter Asian markets.

Diaz said despite President Barack Obama’s historic three-day visit to the island in March, the US maintains its sanctions on Cuba and his country has no choice but to implement short-term projects to achieve development.

“Both Cuba and Iran have reached a roadmap after years of sanctions which they should use to explore new economic opportunities and take advantage of each other’s capabilities,” he said.

A large economic delegation is accompanying Zarif on his six-day Latin America tour which also includes trips to Chile, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela aimed at boosting trade after the removal in January of US-led sanctions against Iran.

The first Iran-Cuba economic forum opened in Havana on Monday, with Diaz telling Iranian companies that they could become the engine of economic growth and dynamism in his country.

Iran and Cuba have long been close friends. Last week, Cuban Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas visited Tehran and met top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani.

havana-live-eu-cuba-relationsHAVANA, September 2 (AFP) The EU and Cuba have made good progress in normalisation talks but getting an accord this year, the stated aim of both sides, may prove difficult, an EU official said Wednesday.

“An end-2015 deal, that is the objective … but it is difficult. It is better to have a good agreement before an early agreement,” the official told a briefing ahead of the next round of talks in Havana next week.

“We will do what we can to achieve that; we are expecting another round of talks this year, in November, I expect,” added the official who asked not to be named.

Both sides reported good progress on trade and economic issues at their last meeting in June in Brussels but EU sources said then that sharp differences over human rights remained.

The EU official repeated the point Wednesday but added: “That is no surprise, we always knew that.”

The official stressed that what is known as a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement would be a framework for ties, allowing both sides to cover a full range of issues, including human rights.

“It is not an agreement that sets out a specific agenda of actions (for either side) or a precise timeable.”

The European Union froze relations with Cuba in 2003 after a crackdown on activists and journalists but opened normalisation talks early last year as Washington moved to restore ties with Communist-ruled Havana after more than 50 years of unrelenting hostility.

The EU official said the improvement in US-Cuba ties and the resumption of diplomatic relations in July clearly helped the 28-nation bloc in its own talks with Havana.

But he also stressed that unlike Washington, the EU had had diplomatic relations with Cuba for many years and was one of the country’s major trade and investment partners.