Photo: Estudio Revolución

The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Raúl Castro Ruz, held a meeting on Tuesday, September 29, with the President of the United States, Barack Obama, in the context of the 70th period of sessions of the UN General Assembly.
During the encounter, which took place in a respectful and constructive climate, both leaders exchanged views on Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and the U.S.; agreed on the need to continue working on the agenda of topics which the two countries established for the coming months, as part of the process toward the normalization of relations.
In particular, the Presidents discussed topics related to cooperation in areas of mutual benefit and third countries, such as the case of Haiti; matters of bilateral and multilateral interest; and working towards solving pending issues between both nations.
President Raúl Castro reiterated that in order to achieve fully normalized relations between Cuba and the U.S. the blockade, which causes damages and scarcities to the Cuban people,e and affects the interests of U.S. citizens, must be lifted, while other issues which threaten Cuban sovereignty must also be resolved.
The Cuban President emphasized the country’s willingness to work to build a new type of relationship between Cuba and the U.S., based on respect and sovereign equality.
Accompanying the President of the United States were Secretary of State
John Kerry; National Security Advisor Susan Rice; Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes; National Security Council Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mark Feierstein; and U.S. permanent representative at the UN Samantha Power.
Participating on the Cuban side were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Relations; Alejandro Castro Espín and Juan Francisco Arias Fernández, advisor and deputy advisor of the National Defense and Security Commission, respectively; Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Ministry of Foreign Relations director general for the United States; and José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, Cuban ambassador to the U.S