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Caribbean News Desk for Mon Jan 19, 2015 … Stories include U.S.-Cuba talks to focus on lifting diplomatic restrictions

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson.

Washington, Jan 19 (EFE).- The first U.S. government delegation to travel to Havana since the announcement of the normalization of relations will discuss eliminating restrictions on diplomatic activity as a first step toward the re-opening of embassies.

During her visit to the island this week, the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, will seek “to speed up the pace” of normalization announced on Dec. 17 by Washington and Havana, U.S. government officials said Monday in a teleconference.

The talks will begin Wednesday with an exchange on migration, continuing a process that began in the mid-1990s.

On Thursday, Jacobson and her team will talk about the mechanics of restoring bilateral diplomatic relations more than 50 years after Washington severed ties.

U.S. officials said Washington wants to discuss “an end to impediments on diplomatic couriers,” access for Cubans to the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, the accreditation of new diplomats and an end to restrictions limiting the movements of U.S. diplomats on the island.

U.S. sources said it is difficult to predict which additional issues the Cuban side will bring to the discussion and cautioned against expecting too much from this first high-level contact in decades.

Jacobson also plans to try to meet with members of Cuban civil society and with dissidents during her historic visit to Havana.

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