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European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance, Louis Michel, met with several Cuban government officials, including Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque to discuss, among other aspects, the measures adopted by the EU in 2003.

During the meeting the European Union official accepted Cubas position considering that such measures constitute the main obstacle hindering political dialog and that they must be definitively lifted, according to the official communiqué.

Both parties agreed that bilateral relations between Cuba and the European Union must be based on the principles and objectives established by the UN Charter, particularly on sovereign equality, the non-interference in internal affairs, nor the use of threats or force in international relations.

During the meeting, the two officials addressed a wide array of issues in the fields of politics, human rights, commerce, science and culture, and they stressed the process of dialog between the Cuban government and the European Union, as well as the possibilities to identify areas of common interest.

They noted a group of fields that may benefit from bilateral dialog, when conditions for it exist, such as the environment (biological corridor), trade (access to EU markets), food security, science and technology, cultural exchange, disaster prevention and risk management.

Cuba and the EU confirmed their pledging to multilateralism and reaffirmed their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. They also described as positive the first exploratory contact between the EU Troika and Cuba at ministerial level, held in New York on September 24, 2007.

Both parties underscored Cuba's participation in the EU Development Sessions held in Lisbon last November 2007, on the invitation of Louis Michel. They stressed the usefulness of recent technical missions by the EU General Direction for Development.

As to the process of a bilateral negotiation, both parties reiterated their wish to witness its advancement and they considered that constructive dialog is the best way to contributing to normal relation.


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