US and Cuba to hold another round of talks next week on restoring diplomatic ties

A Cuban and US flag on the balcony of a hotel in Havana on April 13, 2015. US and Cuban negotiators will meet next week to discuss the reopening of embassies in each other's capitals as part of efforts to restore diplomatic ties. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Cuban and US flag on the balcony of a hotel in Havana on April 13, 2015. US and Cuban negotiators will meet next week to discuss the reopening of embassies in each other's capitals as part of efforts to restore diplomatic ties. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US and Cuban negotiators will meet next week to discuss the reopening of embassies in each other's capitals as part of efforts to restore diplomatic ties, the State Department said on Thursday.

The talks will be held on May 21 in Washington, the State Department said in a statement.

The meeting will focus on practical measures needed to reopen embassies in Havana and Washington, the official added.

The talks are the first since President Barack Obama announced on April 14 that he had decided to remove Cuba from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, a step that Cuba had insisted on before agreeing to reopen embassies.

Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on Dec 17 that they would work to restore diplomatic ties, which Washington severed in 1961 two years after Raul's brother Fidel took power and began implementing communist rule.