US Secretary of State John Kerry “made progress“ in talks with Cuba’s foreign minister on Thursday night as the two countries seek to put behind decades of animosity and restore full diplomatic relations, the US government said.
“Secretary Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister (Bruno) Rodriguez had a lengthy and very constructive discussion this evening. The two agreed they made progress and that we would continue to work to resolve outstanding issues,“ a senior State Department official said.
In Jamaica, earlier though, President Obama urged patience when it comes to US-Cuba relations.
“I never foresaw that immediately, overnight, everything would transform itself, that suddenly overnight Cuba became a partner diplomatically the way Jamaica is for example. That is going to take some time,” he said.
The US says the two foreign ministers have made progress after a lengthy discussion.
It’s the first such high-level meeting between the former Cold War enemies since 1958.
Removing Cuba from the list would clear a major obstacle in the effort to restore diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, paving the way for the reopening of embassies that have been shut for 54 years, and signal momentum in ending America’s isolation from the Communist island nation.
Obama did not signal how he was leaning, but his previous statements have suggested that he would approve taking Cuba off the list.
Cuba was added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982, when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies in Colombia and elsewhere. Other countries on the list include Iran, Sudan and Syria.