TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has met with Cuban President Raul Castro in Cuba, where she is on a visit to strengthen relations between the bloc and the Latin American country.
According to the Cuban state-run television on Thursday, the two discussed the state of relations between Brussels and Havana as well as international issues.
Mogherini began a two day visit to Cuba on Wednesday to reconfirm commitment to an agreement on trade and cooperation between the bloc and the island country.
At a press conference earlier in the day, the top diplomat announced a series of agreements and said that EU member countries combined were now Cuba’s most important economic partner.
“The European Union and its member states are already the first investors [in Cuba], which means that economic relations are already very much developed. That has always been the case, and this can be increased even more now that we have this new agreement,” she said, referring to a political dialogue and cooperation deal negotiated over 2015 and 2016.
Mogherini said a delegation from the European Investment Bank would visit Cuba later this month.
Before meeting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday morning, the EU’s top diplomat also said cooperation agreements in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, culture, and expertise valued at 49 million euros (59.1 million dollars) would be signed shortly.
In 2015, Cuba normalized ties with the United States after more than five decades of hostilities that had begun during the Cold War but survived the era. Later, in 2016, the Latin American country also restored ties with the EU through the political dialogue and cooperation deal. The two had frozen ties back in 2003.
But while the new US administration has partially reversed terms of the deal under which Washington and Havana normalized relations, the EU has worked to strengthen ties.
Mogherini has criticized the U-turn by Washington in its relations with Cuba.
“We regret that the current US administration has apparently changed policy towards Cuba. We are convinced as we were one year ago, and as we were two years ago, that it is in our European interest, it is in Cuban interest and it is in the international interest at large to have relations, to discuss issues of disagreement, and to deepen and extend cooperation,” she said in Cuba.
The EU’s foreign policy director also announced that she would meet with Rodriguez in Brussels in February in the first joint cooperation meeting between the EU and Cuba.
Source: Press TV