World / Latin America

US welcomes Fidel Castro's comments on thaw in bilateral ties

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-28 08:55

WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday welcomed former leader of Cuba Fidel Castro's first public comments about the restoration of US-Cuban diplomatic relations.

"We take his reference of international norms and principles as a positive sign and look forward to the Cuban government implementing those international norms and principles for a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba", said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki at the regular press conference.

In an article published by Cuba's official daily "Granma" Tuesday, Castro wrote that he does not trust the US policies, but that does not mean a rejection to a peaceful solution of conflicts and dangers of war.

"Any peaceful and negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America, not involving force or the use of force, should be handled according to international principles and standards," Castro wrote.

In response to Castro's stated lack of trust in Washington, Psaki said mutual lack of trust did exist between the two Cold War foes. "But we're working to build that trust."

It is the first time the former Cuban leader, who retired from politics in 2008 due to poor health, openly spoke of the announcement of restoring US-Cuban diplomatic relations made by US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec 17 after estrangement of more than half a century.

Delegations of the two countries met and held first high-level meeting in Havana, the Cuban capital, last Wednesday and Thursday since the Dec 17 announcement. At the two-day meeting, the two sides discussed details about steps regarding restoring the diplomatic ties, reopening the embassies in each other's capital cities, and expanding the cooperation in several fields.

According to Psaki, the next round of the meeting in Washington between the two sides is on the agenda, but the exact date is yet to be decided.

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