WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba agreed to hold an unscheduled second day of talks on Friday hoping to overcome hurdles blocking the restoration of diplomatic ties frozen for some five decades.
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed the fourth round of talks aimed at agreeing the re-opening of embassies after a half century of hostilities had finished for the day Thursday and "will continue tomorrow."
The delegations would also hold separate press conferences on Friday after their talks, Harf said in a statement.
The delegations, led by top US diplomat for Latin America Roberta Jacobson and Cuba's chief negotiator Josefina Vidal, met throughout Thursday at the imposing State Department building in Washington, the hub of US diplomacy.
The Cuban foreign ministry said in a message on Twitter that "progress" had been made, confirming the two delegations would meet again on Friday. Jacobson told US lawmakers on the eve of the fresh talks that "significant differences remain between our two governments."
In a rare historical moment, Cuban journalists were invited to the White House press room to join Thursday's daily briefing by press secretary Josh Earnest.
Cristina Escobar of state-run TV Cubana asked if was "possible to see a scenario in which we will open embassies in Havana and Washington" and whether President Barack Obama could visit in 2016. — AFP