Belgium .— On June 15 and 16, negotiating teams representing Cuba and the European Union (EU), led by Christian Leffler, managing director for the Americas at the European External Action Service, and Abe­lardo Moreno Fernán­dez, Cuban deputy minister of Foreign Relations, met in Brussels to participate in the fourth round of negotiations to reach a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which both parties have been working toward since April, 2014.

This round, held shortly after the end of the 2nd CELAC-EU Summit, saw negotiations relating to important trade issues close to being settled, while significant results were achieved in regards to cooperation, currently in the advanced stage of negotiations.

A beneficial exchange took place on the issue of Political Dialogue, with the delegations expressing their respective positions and aspirations.

The meetings took place in a constructive and professional climate, on the bases to which both parties agreed in 2008, which include: free from conditions, discrimination and of a reciprocal character; full respect for the sovereign equality of states; within a legal framework and respecting the institutional order of both parts; as well as full adherence to the principles of non-interference in a state’s internal affairs.

The teams agreed to meet again in September, in Havana, for the fifth round of negotiations.

The representatives from Cuba and the EU confirmed the wiliness of both parties to continue advancing in this process with the aim of concluding negotiations as soon as possible.