Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla met with the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, this Wednesday in Brussels, as part of the process to reach an agreement on political dialogue and cooperation with the regional bloc.
In a press conference after the meeting, Mogherini informed that a round of political negotiations between both parties will take place in June, with the aim of strengthening ties, and that further encounters are planned during this year. She also announced that they had agreed to “establish a structured dialogue on human rights,” with the possibility that the first session also take place in June in Brussels.
She argued that “it is an interesting time for all Latin America…also for Cuba,” thus the importance of strengthening ties of friendship and trying to overcome the challenges faced.
For his part, the Cuban Foreign Minister said that, “the statements you have just heard confirm the progress made” in relations with the European Union.
“I feel we have made progress, we have advanced in a constructive spirit, mutually respectful, on a reciprocal basis towards a strengthening of relations and comprehensive cooperation between the European Union and Cuba, and we have also reviewed issues relating to the negotiation of a bilateral cooperation agreement,” Rodríguez Parrilla explained.
He thanked EU countries for their support for the UN resolution on the blockade imposed by the United States for over 50 years and called for renewed support this fall at the UN General Assembly. He also said that the EU and Cuba have developed “extensive exchanges on human rights for many years,” adding that the “dialogue at a technical level” to be undertaken in June will be “a contribution to international cooperation in this important area.”
During his speech, the Cuban Foreign Minister also said that we must work together to achieve international cooperation regarding the issue of immigration, which has seen tragedies in recent days.
Rodríguez Parrilla's visit to Brussels was announced in March, when the Italian politician Mogherini visited Cuba, which according to the Cuban diplomat marked the beginning of a new era in bilateral ties. The Minister said that both his meetings on Tuesday in France and now in Belgium had been “excellent bilateral visits” and that he hoped his upcoming trips to Luxembourg and the Netherlands would continue in that vein.