06:45 GMT +326 June 2017
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    Cuban and US flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in downtown Havana, Cuba March 19, 2016.

    Italian PM Calls Trump's Policy on Cuba 'Mistake' Just as Paris Deal Withdrawal

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    Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni criticized the new policy of US President Donald Trump's administration regarding Cuba, which rolls back parts of the March 2016 deal between the administration of then President Barack Obama and the island nation, saying that it was erroneous.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Trump's policy on Cuba, which was announced Friday, reaffirms the existing embargo on Cuba and opposes international calls for its termination. However, the policy will allow US businesses already engaged with Cuba to continue doing business.

    “I was informed about the extraordinary Obama’s initiative in regards to Cuba and I think that the reversal of it was a mistake. As a mistake was the choice to withdraw from the [Paris] climate agreement,” Gentiloni said in an interview with the la Repubblica newspaper, published on Sunday.

    The prime minister stressed that that the United States would remain Italy’s ally despite the disagreements.

    “The United States will remain our main ally. It is so and it will remain like that. I do not want to waive democracy and freedom. We are a great country and we should express our opinion on the US administration decisions, which we do not share,” Gentiloni told the newspaper.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the new US policy on Cuba was regretful as it brought back memories of the Cold War era.

    In December 2014, then-President Barack Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of non-engagement and hostilities. The two countries have reopened embassies in their respective capitals and have signed a dozen of cooperation deals since then.

    In January, Obama issued an executive order ending a policy that had allowed Cubans who set foot on US soil to remain in the United States, unlike those intercepted at sea who are routinely returned to the island.

    Related:

    Trump’s Tough New Crackdown Policy on Cuba Marks ‘Great Leap Backwards’ for US
    Clampdown on Travel, Trade: Trump Abandons Path to Normalize US-Cuba Relations
    US and Cuba Have No Choice but 'Be On Good Terms' With Each Other
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