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US, Cuba hold third round of talks in Havana

U.S. and Cuban delegations met Monday in Havana for closed-door talks aimed at restoring diplomatic relations between the longtime foes.

Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson led a small U.S. delegation while Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, led the Cuban team.

Talks will continue through Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, leaving the door open that they could extend further into the week.

The State Department said last Friday the negotiations will center around removing limits to the number of diplomatic staff in each country and restrictions on travel outside of the American and Cuban capitals.

The countries had previously held the first round of talks in Havana in January after U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a landmark agreement to work toward normalizing relations. A second round was held in Washington last month during which both sides voiced optimism about the negotiations.

The U.S. and Cuba will meet again at the Summit of the Americas in Panama April 10-11. Obama and Castro are likely to meet at the regional gathering.

Diplomatic relations were severed more than 50 years ago in 1961 (Anadolu Agency).

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