The United States and Cuba concluded their two-day round of talks in Washington, D.C., without reaching an agreement about reopening embassies in both countries, signaling attempts to normalize relations after a tumultuous 54 years will take ongoing efforts.
Roberta Jacobson, the top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, and Josefina Vidal, head of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s North American affairs division, respectively called the talks “highly productive” and “respectful and professional.” The talks will continue but they will likely not be high-level face-to-face sessions.
“I don’t know that we will need another round,” Jacobson said. “I think at this point this is likely to be the kind of thing that can be hammered out using our diplomatic missions.”
Neither side would detail the remaining obstacles, but both have been struggling to agree on the freedoms given to diplomats. The United States wants diplomats to be free to travel the country and speak with people, but Cuba regards it as a means to undermine the government.
Last year, President Barack Obama announced plans to open diplomatic ties with the Communist nation. As part of that, the U.S. is also in the process of removing Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.