HAVANA Ė Cuba and the European Union signed on Friday in Havana a new political dialogue and cooperation accord, which brings to fruition two years of talks to normalize bilateral relations, marked since 1996 by the EUís restrictive Common Position.
The heads of the negotiating teams, deputy EU foreign service chief Christian Leffler and Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno, put their signatures on the text agreed upon, which will now undergo a process of deliberation for its final ratification by both parties.
The signing of the document took place at the Foreign Ministry in Havana in the presence of the EUís top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, at a ceremony attended by ambassadors of the European Unionís member nations.
Havana and Brussels thus reached a bilateral accord with which to launch a new era in their relations, just as Mogherini predicted Friday morning in Havana.
Negotiations for the new accord began two years ago for the purpose of overcoming the so-called Common Position, a policy promoted by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who based bilateral relations on signs of democratic progress on the island.
Cuba has been the only Latin American country up to now with which the EU had no bilateral accord, though in practice the EU is its second most important trade partner and third in the number of tourists who travel to the Caribbean country, after Canada and Latin America.