Washington, DC - The United States and Cuba held the fourth Bilateral Commission in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mari Carmen Aponte led the U.S. delegation, supported by Chargé d’Affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Deputy Assistant Secretary John Creamer, and Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning Jon Finer. The Cuban delegation was led by Josefina Vidal, the Foreign Ministry’s Director General for U.S. Affairs, supported by Cuban Ambassador to the United States Jose Ramon Cabanas.
The Bilateral Commission advances the normalization process between the United States and Cuba. The meeting took place in a cooperative and productive environment. The U.S. and Cuban delegations discussed the way forward on key issues such as agriculture, health, environmental protection, economic engagement, science and technology, civil aviation, regulatory affairs, claims, culture and education, law enforcement, nonproliferation, trafficking in persons, human rights, maritime borders, and migration. The delegations also discussed prospects for upcoming high-level visits and their shared desire to achieve as much progress as possible by the end of the year.
The United States looks forward to the next Bilateral Commission Meeting in Havana in December 2016.