MOSCOW, December 18 (Sputnik) – About seven confidential meetings between the US and Cuba, where the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries was agreed, took place in Canada, according to Global news.
Meetings between the two countries took place in 2013-2014 in Ottawa and Toronto. The talks were held secretly in order to avoid political backlash in the US, which could hamper further negotiations and bring all efforts to naught, as reported by Vox.
US President Barack Obama publicly showed his appreciation to Pope Francis and Canada’s efforts, recognizing the significant diplomatic role played by both parties in the process of reconciliation, according to CBC.
On Wednesday, the US White House made a statement about its intention to restore political and economic ties with Cuba, as well as facilitate travel between the two countries. The statement followed the release of US citizen Alan Gross on Wednesday, who was arrested in 2009 and charged with crimes against the Cuban government. Gross was accused of working for US intelligence services and spent five years in a Cuban detention facility.