US, Cuba officials discuss anti-terrorism measures
HAVANA, Apr. 30th (Reuters) Cuban and U.S. officials met in Havana to discuss anti-terrorism measures, Cuba’s interior ministry said, broaching a particularly thorny subject between the two long-time rivals in the latest in a series of bilateral talks.
Terrorism is a contentious issue as Cuba is on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a matter the two sides agreed to continue discussing, however, the talks this week were mainly “technical”.
The meetings, which included the U.S. State Department, Justice Department and Homeland Security and their Cuban counterparts, addressed the hijacking of aircraft and maritime vessels and the use of digital networks for violent purposes.
“The realization of this exchange is an expression of the commitment of the Cuban government in the fight against (terrorism),” the interior ministry statement said.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump placed Cuba on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that Cuba’s government has rejected.
The list imposes strict sanctions on the communist-run island, complicating financial transactions and contributing, Cuba says, to a severe economic crisis that has led to shortages of fuel, food and medicine and a record-breaking exodus of migrants north to the United States.
The interior ministry statement said Cuba had expressed its opposition to the designation in this week’s meetings, which began Thursday, but said both parties agreed to continue the talks going forward.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The Biden administration has said it is reviewing Cuba’s status on the terrorism list but has yet to make any changes.