On Friday, February 19, 2010 the United States and Cuba met in Havana to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords. This was the second such meeting since the decision to renew the Talks in 2009. In the course of the meeting, the U.S. team, led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Craig Kelly, reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote safe, orderly, and legal migration.
The U.S. delegation separately raised the case of the U.S. citizen detained in Cuba on December 4 and called for his immediate release.
Engaging in these talks underscores our interest in pursuing constructive discussions with the government of Cuba to advance U.S. interests on issues of mutual concern. The U.S. delegation highlighted areas of successful cooperation in migration, while also identifying issues that have been obstacles to the full implementation of the Accords. The agenda for the talks reflected longstanding U.S. priorities on Cuba migration issues, including: ensuring that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is able to operate fully and effectively; ensuring that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is able to monitor the welfare of repatriated migrants; and gaining Cuban government acceptance for the repatriation of all Cuban nationals who are excludable on criminal grounds.
The United States views these talks as an avenue to achieve practical, positive results that contribute to the full implementation of the Accords and to the safety of citizens of both countries.
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