Cuba proposes quick start to human rights dialogue with U.S.

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 11:09 AM

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba on Thursday proposed that a pending human rights dialogue with the United States begin on Tuesday in Washington in parallel to ongoing negotiations about restoring diplomatic relations.

"These conversations about human rights constitute an example of Cuba's disposition to approach any topic with the United States, despite our differences," Pedro Luis Pedroso, a foreign ministry official specializing in international law, told reporters in Havana.

U.S. officials in Havana had no immediate comment.

Cuba first proposed the talks last year and reiterated its idea after the two longtime adversaries agreed in December to re-establish diplomatic ties and seek to normalize trade and travel.

Representatives from each side met in Havana in January, in Washington in February, and again in Havana this month. They have yet to finalize an agreement on opening embassies in each other's capitals and have not announced when they might renew talks.

Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama are both due to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 10-11, which could mark their first face-to-face meeting since the two leaders simultaneously announced the new direction for U.S.-Cuban relations on Dec. 17.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by David Gregorio)