'Difficult' to finish EU-Cuba talks this year: EU official

The European Union froze relations with Cuba in 2003 after a crackdown on activists and journalists but opened normalisation talks early last year as Washington moved to restore ties with Communist-ruled HavanaThe EU and Cuba have made good progress in normalisation talks but getting an accord this year, the stated aim of both sides, may prove difficult, an EU official said Wednesday. It is better to have a good agreement before an early agreement,” the official told a briefing ahead of the next round of talks in Havana next week. Both sides reported good progress on trade and economic issues at their last meeting in June in Brussels but EU sources said then that sharp differences over human rights remained.

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