Sunday, April 12, 2015

Obama-Castro Summit Caps Thaw In U.S.-Cuba Relations

Via BBC News:

U.S. President Barack Obama has said his meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro will help both countries "turn the page" after decades of hostility.

He described the meeting on the fringes of the Summit of the Americas in Panama as "candid and fruitful".

Mr Obama said that the former foes would continue to have differences but could advance mutual interests.

The meeting was the first formal talks between the two countries' leaders in more than half a century.

"What we have both concluded is that we can disagree with a spirit of respect and civility", said President Obama. "Over time, it is possible for us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries".

His remarks came at the end of a regional summit which has been dominated by the historic thaw between U.S.-Cuba relations.

Cuban leader Raul Castro said that the two countries had "agreed to disagree" when necessary.

"We are disposed to talk about everything, with patience", he said. "Some things we will agree with, and others we won't".

Earlier, the Cuban leader referred to Mr Obama as an "honest man" after a lengthy speech largely taken up with the history of the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.

"When I talk about the revolution, the passion oozes out of me", the Cuban leader said. "I have to ask President Obama for forgiveness. He is not responsible for the things which happened before his time".

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