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Cuba was awaiting an answer from the United States to a proposal for cooperation in the fields of the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, Cuban authorities said Friday.

Cuban Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon confirmed the expectations to reporters even as diplomats from both countries were discussing migration issues in Havana. However, he gave no details of the proposal.

Also Friday, the Cuban Communist Party daily Granma reported an increase in the amount of illegal drugs seized by Cuban authorities in 2009, to total 3.1 million tonnes, more than double the previous year's amount.

US sources confirmed the start of migration talks early Friday, the second round of such negotiations since US President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

Alarcon told reporters that "migration agreements are convenient for both countries, and these meetings seek to verify and review how they are being applied." With time, he said he expects "deals that perfect" the current state of things.

The migration talks between the US and Cuba had been held twice a year from 1994 until 2003, when former president George W Bush halted the practice. Obama restarted the talks in July.

Cuba disclosed no details about its delegation.

This second round of talks had originally been scheduled for December.

Kelly is the highest-ranking Obama administration official yet to visit the Cuban capital Havana.


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