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Dutch minister wants modern ties between EU and Cuba

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Staff writer ▼ | January 7, 2014
Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans has urged the European Union (EU) to modernize its ties with Cuba.
Frans Timmermans
Frans TimmermansDutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans has urged the European Union (EU) to modernize its ties with Cuba.


Speaking during an official visit to Cuba, Mr. Timmermans said: "Interesting things are happening in Cuba, and it's time for the European Union to modernize its ties with the island."

After being received by Ricardo Cabrisas, vice president of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Mr. Timmermans said his government was paying close attention to the social and economic reforms that brought business opportunities to Cuba but he added that there were still "few" ties between Cuba and the Netherlands, and hoped his trip could herald the start of "lasting and good cooperation."

Mr. Cabrisas expressed Cuba's willingness to explore shared objectives with the Netherlands in areas of mutual interest.

The EU's current policy towards Cuba is determined by the so-called "Common Position," an initiative adopted in 1996 by member countries, restricting ties with Cuba due to alleged human rights violations. Cuba said that ties between the two sides could make progress only if the "Common Position" was scrapped.

The EU's current policy towards Cuba is determined by the so-called "Common Position," an initiative adopted in 1996 by member countries, restricting ties with Cuba due to alleged human rights violations. Cuba said that ties between the two sides could make progress only if the "Common Position" was scrapped.

Some EU countries, including Germany, Britain, Sweden and the Czech Republic, are opposed to dropping the restrictions, while any further measures must be unanimously approved by all EU members.


 

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