Raul Castro urges Obama to `deepen` US-Cuba thaw: Officials

 Cuban President Raul Castro urged his US counterpart Barack Obama to accelerate their countries` budding rapprochement Friday in a phone call, after Washington further eased restrictions on business and travel.

Castro "emphasized the need to deepen the reach" of the measures taken so far and reiterated his call to end the full embargo the US has maintained on the communist island since 1962, said a statement from the Cuban president`s office.

The White House confirmed the call and said the leaders had discussed ways to "advance bilateral cooperation, even as we will continue to have differences on important issues and will address those differences candidly."

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