This Article is From May 15, 2015

US-Cuba to Discuss Diplomatic Relations on May 21

US-Cuba to Discuss Diplomatic Relations on May 21

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro during a meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City. (AFP Photo)

Washington: American and Cuban officials will meet on May 21 to discuss reopening embassies and tackle broader migration, security and environmental issues, the US State Department said on Thursday.

The US top official for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, will host a team from the Cuban government led by Havana's director of US affairs, Josefina Vidal.

A State Department spokesperson said reestablishing embassies would allow greater cooperation between the former Cold War foes, who announced in December they would move to thaw ties after 50 years of animosity.

"A US embassy in Havana will allow the United States to more effectively promote our interests and values, and increase engagement with the Cuban people," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"The United States and Cuba have seen growing communication on a variety of issues, including matters of mutual concern such as migration, law enforcement, access to information, environmental protection and trafficking in persons."

The two sides have held several rounds of talks since the historic rapprochement announcement last year, and US President Barack Obama met with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in April -- the first sit-down between the nations' leaders since 1956.