Two big weeks ahead for US, Cuba

(REUTERS) - For the first time since the United States and Cuba raised their flags in each other's capitals this summer, the man who helped bring them together is coming over for a visit.

Pope Francis will arrive in Havana on Saturday for a three-day trip followed by a visit in the US.

And among the topics likely to come up is the US embargo of Cuba.

On Wednesday at a business roundtable, US President Barack Obama made clear his opposition to the embargo, which only Congress can lift.

"As long as Congress still has the embargo in place, there are certain things we can't do, but there are certain things we can do, for instance on telecommunications and we are looking for opportunities there," said Obama

With diplomatic relations now restored after 54 years, Obama believes it's only a matter of time before concrete changes begin to take shape.

"I don't think it is going to be an overnight transformation," continued Obama, "but I am convinced that by re-engaging Cuba, re-engaging the Cuban people, that we are creating the environment in which a generational change and transition will take place in that country."

Obama's comments come as Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told the media that Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro would likely cross paths at a UN gathering in New York this month.

"I suppose there will be interactions between the presidents (Obama and Castro), but I can say there is no fixed meeting between them," said Rodriguez in Spanish.

Both leaders, who held a historic meeting in Panama in April, are due to the address the UN General Assembly on Sept 28.