Obama proposes US, Cuba reopen embassies as of July 20: Havana

President Barack Obama has proposed that the United States and Cuba reopen embassies in their respective capitals as of July 20, in a letter delivered Wednesday to President Raul Castro, authorities in Havana said.

AFP| Updated: Jul 01, 2015, 20:10 PM IST
Obama proposes US, Cuba reopen embassies as of July 20: Havana

Havana: US President Barack Obama has proposed that the United States and Cuba reopen embassies in their respective capitals as of July 20, in a letter delivered Wednesday to President Raul Castro, authorities in Havana said.

Reopening of the embassies, which Obama was expected to announce at roughly 11:00 am (1500 GMT), would mark the end of a more than 50-year rupture in relations.

The tentative date was suggested in a letter that the head of the US Interests Section in Cuba, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, delivered to Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina.

The missive "confirms the decision to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries and open permanent diplomatic missions in their respective capitals, from July 20," the foreign ministry said on its website.

The reopening of the embassies will be the culmination of the historic decision by Obama and Castro on December 17 to re-establish diplomatic relations that broke off in 1961.

Both countries are currently represented by interests sections, and US and Cuban diplomats are not allowed to go out of Havana and Washington without official authorization from the host countries.

The two sides have been holding negotiations for months, and a major breakthrough was reached in late May when Washington removed Havana from a blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.