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US, Cuba Begin Historic Talks on Revival of Relations

© REUTERS / StringerA man stands near the national flags of the U.S. and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first U.S. congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by U.S. President Barack Obama on December 17, in Havana
A man stands near the national flags of the U.S. and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first U.S. congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by U.S. President Barack Obama on December 17, in Havana - Sputnik International
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Economic outcomes as well as long-term goals are expected to be discussed during the negotiations.

MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — Cuba is hosting the highest-level US delegation in 35 years, with the negotiations aimed at the revival of diplomatic and economic relations and formulation of long-term goals, taking place on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The relations between the two countries have been frozen for more than 50 years, characterized by economic restrictions, embargos and blockades. Relief of the US trade embargo would facilitate travel to Cuba and strengthen economic ties between the two countries, including exports of telecommunications equipment and other goods, according to AP.

Charter flights from Miami to Havana are shown on a departures monitor at Miami International Airport, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 in Miami - Sputnik International
Study Reveals US-Cuban Thaw Won't Bring More Americans to the Island
However, a representative of the Cuban foreign ministry emphasized a difference between reestablishment of diplomatic ties and a more complicated issue of normalizing relations.

"Cuba isn't normalizing relations with the United States. Cuba is re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States. The normalization of relations is a much longer process and much more complicated process," the official said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

Both countries are also expected to identify their longer-term objectives. Cuba is likely to seek the full cancellation of Washington's half-century long economic restrictions as well as its removal from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. The US is expected to pay more attention to human rights issues in the Communist country.

The thaw in US-Cuba relations began in December 2014, when US President Barack Obama announced the decision to reestablish diplomatic ties with Cuba, relieve trade and travel restrictions and reopen US embassy in Havana.

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